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Ibistorical Cbaractct Stut>i? 







Entered according to Act of Congress in the Year 1890, by 

lu the OfiQce of the Librarian of Congress at Washington. 

All Bights Reserved, 


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Martin Murphy Frontispiece. 

Martin Murphy, Jr 15 

Richard Gird 77 

Daniel Freeman 125 

Augustus T. Hatch 141 

Joseph S. Cone 176 

John Bensley 20G 

Moses J. Church 217 

Eli AS J. Baldwin 33 1 

Henry Miller 372 

Augustus L. Chandler 3S7 

V James B. Lankershim 404 

James Adams 415 

Dean J. Locke 425 

JoHM T. Strentzel 435 

John D. Stephens 445 

John B. Rohrer 4o8 

Jefferson G. James 46(5 

.Samuel Jackson 47 <) 

Neuschwander D. Julien 483 

William F. Downing 490 

Edward B. Perrin 400 

Richard B. Knapp 579 

Cyrus H. McCormick 601 






Handmaid of Mining — Aboriginal Agriculturalists — Gods of the Grain- 
field — Enforced Labor — Cooperation — Irrigation — Beneficent Legis- 
lation — Tenure of Land — Divers Monopolies — Climate — Social Con- 
ditions — Race Characteristics — Agricultural Colonies 1 



Ancestry — Move to Canada, and thence to Missouri — Overland to Cal- 
ifornia — Incidents of the Journey — The First Wagons to Cross the 
Sierra — Political Issues— The Murphys Join Micheltorena — Life at 
San Jose — Grants and Squatters — Close of Career 15 



Aztec Farmers — Chinampa or Floating Gardens — Chief Products of the 
Nahuas — Aboriginal Implements — Corn and Religion — Tlie Maguey 
— Pulque — Origin of Agriculture — The Gods in Council — Maya Civil- 
ization — Indigenous Products — Corn, Cacao, Beans, Pepper, and 
Cotton — Aboriginal Land Tenure — Plantations of the Conquerors — 
Introduction of Sugar Cane and Wheat — Plantains, Silk, Olives, 
Grapes, and Tobacco— Coffee, Vanilla, Cochineal, Indigo, and Jalap 
— Livestock — Climatic Zones — Central American Products 62 



Southern California — Genealogy and Parentage — Family Homestead — 
Early Training and Education — Mining Experience in California and 
Chili — Railroad Building in Chili— Assaying and Prospecting in 
Arizona — Indian Warfare — Manufacturing — Discovery of the Tomb- 
stone District— The Tombstone Mines— The Chiuo Estate— Dairy— 
The Chino Sugar-mills— Mrs Gird— Physique and Characteristics- 
Opinions — Summary 77 





Talent and Opportunity as Agencies of Success — Ancestry — Early Sur- 
roundings— Education — Practice of Law — Marriage — Enterprise at 
Port Burwell — Experimental Farming in California — Death of Mrs 
Freeman — Characteristics 125 



Horticulture in California — Incidents of Youthful Struggle — Labor and 
Confidence in Self — Varied and Striking Experiences — Move to Cal- 
ifornia — Marriage — A Napoleon in the Acquisition of Acres — Origi 
nal Business Methods — Scientific Horticulture — Evolution of the 
Great Fruit Industry — What Faith and Work can Do 141 



Lineage and Education — Removal to California — Mining and Trading — 
Ranch in Tehama County — Grain, Sheep, and Fruit Raising — Man- 
agement of Estate — Wife and Children — Banking — Politics and 
Religion — Railroad Commissioner — Supplemental Report — Charac- 
ter and Appearance — Public Benefaction Contemplated 176 



Development of Manufactures — Ancestry and Education of John Bensley 
— Experiences in Mexico — Comes to California — Merchandising, 
Steamboating, Gas, Water, Electric Lights, Rolling Mills, Irriga- 
tion, Oil, and Lead Works, Dredging and Coal Interests — An Active 
and Useful Career 200 



Genealogy — Family Characteristics— Early Traits — Equipment for Life 
in California — Struggle against a Dual Force — Brutishness in the 
Field and Crookedness in Litigation— A Triumph for Civilization 
Broad and Deep — Peaceful Conquests — Moral and Intellectual Force 
— The Father of Irrigation — Important Agency in the Country's 
Growth — A Life of Benefactions — Portraiture of a Prominent Char- 
acter 217 




The Three Epochs of California Agriculture — The Industry under Mis- 
sion Rule — Gold-diggers as Farmers — Improvement of Breeds — The 
Dairy— Transition from Grazing to Grain — Honey — Exhaustion of 
Soil — Machinery — Climate and Conditions — Canals and Ditches — 
Water Rights — Rainfalls — Cotton — Silk— Tobacco — Sugar — Tea — 
Transition from Grain to Fruit — The Age of Horticulture, of the 
Orange, the Olive, and the Vine 296 



California Enterprise — Genealogy — Birth— Early Career — Journey across 
the Plains — First Ventures in San Francisco — Sagacity and Enter- 
prise — Real Estate and Stock Operations— The Bank of California — 
The Baldwin Hotel and Theatre — The Santa Anita Estate — Summer 
Resort at Lake Tahoe — Horse-breeding — The Bear Valley Rancho — 
A Man of Many Interests — Appearance, Characteristics, and Opin- 
ions 331 



Ancestry and Parentage — Early Career — Removed to California — Start 
in Business — Miller & Lux — Ranches — The San Joaquin and Kings 
River Canal — Live-stock Interests — Political Views — Wife and 
Family — Physique and Characteristics — Summary of Career 372 



The Study of Nation-making — Chandler's Ancestry and Early Life — 
Personal Appearance and Principles — His California Experiences — 
Family Matters— His Political Career— The Mining Debris Question 
— Public and Private Benefactions — His Last Days 387 



Resources of California — Isaac Lankershim — Birth and Education — El 
Cajon and San Fernando Ranchos — Improved Farming Methods — 
Flouring Mill — The Lankershim Land and Water Company— Growth 
of Los Angeles — Wife and Family — Visit to Japan — Appearance and 
Characteristics 404 




Ancestry and Early Environment — Manful Struggles against Adversity 
—Vicissitudes of Pioneer Industry — Success Won by Steadfast Lal)or 
— Respectable and Useful Career as Private Citizen and in Legisla- 
tive and Executive Office — An Exemplary Life 415 



Ancestry and Birth — Luther Locke — Education — Journey to California 
— Professional Services — Elmer Hall Locke — Home-building on the 
Mokelumne — Marriage — The Town of Lockeford — Character and 
Appearance —Decease — Summary of Career — Sons and Daughters. . 425 



'Fruit-growing in California— The Strentzel Family — Early Life and 
Education of John Theophil Strentzel — Marriage — Coming to the 
Pacific Coast — Pioneer Experiences — Trials and Vicissitudes — Home 
near Martinez — Politics and Religion — Traits and Characteristics . . 435 



John D. Stephens in the Valley of California — Cattle-stealing and Land- 
grabbing — John B. Rohrer as Miner and Stock-raiser — Jefferson G. 
James as Pioneer, Stock-raiser, and Prominent Citizen — Samuel 
Jackson as Miner and Stock-raiser — N. D. Julien as Merchant and 
Farmer — W. F. Downing as Dairyman and Citizen 445 



Family History — Character of Parents — Education — Man of Letters and 
Affairs — Remarkable Real Estate Career — Pronounced Ageucy in 
Horticulture — Irrigation — Powerful Factor in Development^Ener- 
gctic and Useful Life — A Striking Character 496 


Farms of the Hudson's Bay Company— French Canadians in the Valley 
Willamette — Efforts of the Missionaries — Effect of California Gold 
on Oregon Farming — Great Floods — Cold in Oregon — Abundance of 
Markets — Cattle-raising— The Willamette Cattle Company Bring 
Stock from California — Early Farming in Wasliington Territory — 
Puget Sound Agricultural Company — American Settlers North of 
the Columbia — Stock-raising — Fairs and Societies — Eastern Wash- 
ington — Slicep-raising 564 




He Takes his First Lessons on the Farm — The Foundation Laid in Port- 
land — Patience to Labor and to Wait — Friend and Co-worker with 
the Farmers — The House of Knapp, Burrell, and Company as a Fac- 
tor in Development — His Place in It — Character 579 



Subordination of Farming to Mining — A So-called Desert— Climate — 
Rainfall — Configuration, Water-courses, and Sinks — Irrigation — 
Artesian Wells — Numerous Fertile Valleys — Soil and Products — 
Markets — Railroad Discrimination and Monopoly — Stock-raising — 
Bunch-grass — Cattle, Horses, Hogs, Angora Goats, Camels, and 
Ostriches — Agricultural Communities in Utah — Irrigation — Crickets 
and Grasshoppers — Cereals and Fruits — Cotton, Flax, and Silk — 
Markets and Monopoly — Stock-raising and Dairy-farming 590 



Embodiment of the Industrial Idea of the Century — Building of a Char- 
acter — Inventive Genius — Agricultural Machinery — The McCormick 
Reaper 601 



Idaho a Fine Agricultural as Well as Mineral Country — Primeval Pas- 
tures and Natural Wealth — Prolific Soils and Rich Grasses — Irriga- 
tion — Horticulture, Pomology, and Viticulture — Cattle-raising — 
Natural Grasses and Native Animals of Montana — Stock-raising — 
Transportation and Markets — Efifect of Railways and Gold-mining 
— Grasshoppers — Rodeos — Horses and Sheep — The Soil of Wyoming 
— Pests — Irrigation — Cereals — Grazing Capabilities — Stock-raisers 
and Stock — Climate — Cattle Companies — Stock-growers' Associa- 
tion , 617 



The Continental Dividing Range — Parks of Paradise — Soil and Products 
— Forests — Absence of Moisture — Droughts and Floods — System of 
Irrigation — Land and Water Associations — Canals and Ditclies — 
History of Agriculture — Colonies — Horticulture — Stock-raising — 
Grasses — Wool-growing — Stock Associations — Monopoly — Pueblos 
of New Mexico — Influx of Mexicans and Mormons— Soil and Pro- 
ducts — Stock-raising in Arizona — Climate — Mexican Land Grants- 
Subdivision and Irrigation — Laud Titles 033 




Handmaid of Mining — Aboriginal Agriculturalists — Gods of the 
Grain-Field — Enforced Labor — Cooperation — Irrigation — Bene- 
ficent Legislation — Tenure of Land — Divers Monopolies -Cli- 
mate— Social Conditions — ^Race Characteristics — Agricultural 

Agriculture on the Pacific coast was tlie handmaid 
of mining, when the former was but little developed, 
but presently she became mistress of all. While yet 
subordinate, she was often more absorbed in the 
affairs of the mistress than in her own. She lived to 
look at the gold as it came glittering from the Pacto- 
lian streams; she thought the ground too dry to grow 
anything, profitably; nevertheless, those sons of the 
gods who delved among the boulders must be fed, and 
by and bye this feeding became paramount to all. 

In Mexico and Central America the Spaniards 
appeared primarily upon the scene in search of gold 
and other treasures ; and to this end they extended 
conquest northward, opening the rich silver deposits 
for which Zacatecas, San Potosi, and other provinces 
became famous. These in their turn gave rise to 
farming and other industries, and the Castilian settled 
here as he had southward as an encomendero to 
employ serfs for tillage, and to spread the cultivation 
of the new seeds and plants introduced from the 
Spanish peninsula. In California agriculture existed 
prior to the gold discovery ; but gold was the pri- 
mary incentive to that congrregation of the nations 
which finally turned a wilderness into a garden. 



Elsewhere in Arizona, Nevada, Colorado, Montana, 
Idaho and British Columbia, mining was the pioneer 
effort, which laid a foundation for all others. Wyom- 
ing, Oregon, Utah, and New Mexico received great 
aid from the same source, partly within, partly from 
without their borders, although here husbandry ranks 
as the older industry. 

Another feature in agricultural pursuits on the 
coast is their descent to a certain degree from autoch- 
thonic origin, whose influence still lingers in several 
minor ramifications. They were practised in New 
Mexico and other latitudes, but attained high devel- 
opment only among the Nahuas and Mayas, as 
attested by the variety of cultures, the celebrated 
botonical gardens sustained by princes, and the float- 
ing gardens of the Aztecs. Their earliest traditions 
refer to flourishing fields under divine patronage, for 
,these peoples, like the Greeks, had their Ceres and 
Pomona, and their special maize god. The circle of 
their deities embraces also culture-heroes, to whom are 
ascribed the introduction of plants. As in the Levan- 
tine myths, here are identified and personified different 
phases and reproductive processes, as the visit of the 
gods to mother earth in Ledaic showers. Connected 
with them is the invocation of good spirits and pro- 
pitiatory appeals to evil genii, who might affect heat, 
moisture, and other factors, attendant rites involvinof 

7 7 O 

erotic ceremonies at seeding time. 

A religious atmosphere surrounded also the begin- 
ning of the industry in modern times. Missionaries 
started it in California and the countries eastward, 
and trained therein their flocks of neophytes, but with 
the chief aim, as they professed, of sustaining and 
propagating the gospel. In Oregon, likewise, protest- 
ant missionaries led the way in agricultural devel- 
opment, as a basis for territorial and ecclesiastic 

In New Mexico and Arizona the insufficiency of 
game and the hostility of the savages of the plains 


drove the pueblos, or town-dwelling aborigines, to til- 
lage, and their consequent restriction to vegetable 
food tended to make them gentle and peaceful. Tow- 
ard the north the abundance of game impelled the 
natives to a nomad life, with its alternate excitement 
and indolent repose, its brief though fierce campaigns, 
and periods of restless tranquillity, its gluttonous feasts 
and torpid siestas — extremes and excesses, in short, 
of an unsustained energy which abhorred the rules and 
restraints of civilization for the enjoyment of absolute 
liberty. In Alaska a less hospitable soil compelled 
the inhabitants to look to the sea for their supply of 

Most of the native Americans were in time initiated 
into the mysteries of cultivating the soil, by the 
padres, by settlers impressed as laborers, or by a 
paternal government, which out of regard for its 
nearer and dearer children compelled these wild men 
to learn how to support themselves by labor. It was 
a necessity, but the effect was bad, resulting in some 
cases fatally to both, particularly to the Spaniards. 
As in the southern United States, where colored 
labor was regarded as degrading, and the laborer hesi- 
tated to place himself on the lower level, particularly 
when the inferior race could be hired to do the work, 
so it was with regard to the Spaniards and Indians. 
The Indian, however, did not become a competitor in 
labor to any considerable extent, and herein white 
men found consolation for the elevation of the aborigi- 
nal lords of the soil. 

The achievements of agriculture are strikingly dis- 
played in the building up of such commonwealths as 
Utah, and the transformation of a desert into flourish- 
ing settlements, under the direction of strong, practi- 
cal leaders. Associated with mining it has performed 
similar wonders for several equall}' unpromising states. 
Even the San Joaquin valley in California was 
shunned until gradual experiments proved it to be 
one of the great wheat raising sections of the coast. 


The most powerful auxiliary to this end was the irri- 
gation practised since time immemorial on both conti- 
nents. Its value is demonstrated not alone in the 
reclamation of the great inland basin areas, but in 
the direct benefit to every participant elsewhere of 
assured crops, augmented yield, the economic adjust- 
ment of work, canals for navigation and traffic, and a 
bond uniting a community in harmonious cooperation. 
It will diminish the speculative farming fostered in 
California by the gambling spirit of mining, by the 
high cost of labor, and by natural facilities for field 
operations. It will further tend to subdivide the 
land into small holdings, under the increase of values 
and consequently of taxation, and the sufficiency of 
such subdivisions for families, whose every member 
may be profitably employed upon them. 

The suppression of monopoly in land gives rise, 
however, to another in irrigation. In California, 
Colorado, and Wyoming are corporations with canals 
of seventy or eighty miles in length, not counting 
branch ditches, which control areas equivalent to 
counties, and hold at their mercy the fortunes of the 
communities settled upon them. The concession of 
such power to a few seems indispensable at times, 
owing to the cost of the undertaking, and to the diffi- 
culty of uniting the occupants of districts to join in 
such enterprises. Yet this could be accomplished 
with proper initiatory steps by the government, which 
should, moreover, assume the responsibility of prelim- 
inary surveys and the general supervision, in order to 
prevent injurious discrimination against individuals or 
adjacent sections. Or it may suffice to frame strict 
regulations, with a view to prevent unjust exactions 
and enforce subservience to public requirements. 

Irrigation is in its infancy, and has not yet estab- 
lished the fundamental principles for its existence. 
The laws on riparian rights, framed for a well- watered 
and non- irrigating country like England, cannot be 


indiscriminately applied to an arid region wholly 
dependent upon such a system. The enactment which 
reserves for general use the navigable streams, because 
the public need them, is a precedent for considering 
the public want also w4th regard to other water- 
courses. The government is taking steps toward a 
remedy by granting appropriations for sinking arte- 
sian wells. In Colorado a wise administration is 
securing improvements for public lands by obliging 
buyers of alternate sections to render their irrigation 
projects available for intermediate or adjoining tracts. 
The government has extended a fostering care 
toward this fundamental industry, although much 
more might be done. It has assisted to reclaim des- 
erts with appropriations and grants for artesian wells 
and irrio:ation: it has facilitated the drainao-e of 
swamp lands; it has watched the changing industrial 
conditions, and lio-htened or increased burdens accord- 
ing to the capacity for bearing them, as in taxation, 
and in transferring: the obligjation of erectingr fences 
from farmers to stock-raisers, wiien the former had 
become of greater importance to the state; it has 
extended protection to struggling frontier communi- 
ties; it has encouraged special industries, as silk, 
cotton, sugar, with premiums and exemptions, and 
promotes the further judicious offer of aid and exam- 
ple by agricultural societies. In most other respects 
it leaves the people free to work out their own plan 
of operations, which is undoubtedly for the best. 

One momentous question is the tenure of land. In 
Spanish America it has been so illiberal as to discour- 
age enterprise and check development. Under Eng- 
lish rule in British Columbia similar obstacles were 
interposed by grants to a monopoly which retarded 
settlement, and subsequently by the high price of 
land, when tracts could be obtained for nothing in 
the United States, with superior soil, climate, and 
markets. The government had gradually to adjust 


its conditions to those ruling southward. Mexico 
likewise modified colonial restrictions, but so injudi- 
ciously as to surrender large grants to a few, and 
withhold the needful acreage from the classes most 
requiring it, and most likely to make good use of it. 
In the United States liberality has, on the other 
hand, passed to the extreme of extravagance, with the 
result that little valuable land remains to the nation 
in the immense regions once possessed, and with the 
glaring evil of its absorption in vast tracts by specu- 
lators, to the prejudice of immigrants. There is still 
time for reform W restrictive laws, and by equitable 
taxation, which shall distribute burdens alike to all, 
and compe!" the large owners to subdivide their large 
farms and ranges into the small holdings so favorable 
to progress and to the happiness of the greatest 

The expansion of agriculture has been influenced 
by a variety of causes. The conquest by Spaniards, 
and subsequently by Anglo-Saxons, brought not alone 
fresh and liberal consumers, but new cultures and 
methods, and new markets beyond the sea. The 
Spanish coloviial system, however, seldom permitted 
the colonies to produce anything that might detract 
from the trade and industries of the peninsula or of 
favored sections. Thus vines were extirpated on the 
American continent so as not to reduce the export 
from Spain. Frontier settlements, like California, 
were still further restricted in favor of the mother 
colony, so as to lapse into absolute stagnation and 
misery, and were driven to smuggling, and finally to 
revolution. Under Mexican regime trade was almost 
entirely limited to hides and tallow from the stock 
ranges. Occupation by the United States brought 
more energetic men and an expansion which for a time 
was diverted for the benefit of mining. This very 
market proved an opening for the hitherto circum- 
scribed farming of Oregon and British Columbia, 
which in their turn supplied the demand from internal 


and adjacent mining regions. Then California dis- 
covered the adaptablHty of her valleys for the easy 
and cheap cultivation of cereals, and soon rose to one 
of the principal wheat exportin^y countries of the 

Restrained by distance from ports and by high 
railway tariffs, the interior states have little to export 
beyond bullion and livestock, which can be moved 
with little trouble to almost any point, Oregon, for 
instance, having sent sheep to eastern markets, and 
cattle, for that matter, have been regularly transmitted 
from New Mexico, Texas, and other eastern points to 
the Pacific slope for breeding and fattening purposes. 
Here, in the interior stock, is favored by the vacant 
plains and slopes, covered with nutritious grasses and 
streaked with numerous streams, and this industry 
has assumed vast proportions, notably along the upper 
eastern slopes of the Rocky mountains. Envious of 
the profits, monopoly has stepped in to form a num- 
ber of small companies, some with a capital of a mil- 
lion dollars, to carry on the business. These again 
have united into associations extendinor over several 
territories, for the economic and effective management 
of the stock, and for protection against the organized 
bands of robbers preying upon it. Many an effort 
has also been turned against the introduction of sheep 
on the cattle pastures, as injurious to the grass, but 
the law has interposed its decision in favor of the 

Stock-raising monopoly has everywhere to recedft 
before steadily advancing settlement, which raises the 
price of lands and imposes costly burdens in the shape 
of fences and taxes. Thus in Mexico it was compelled 
to move to the northern frontiers. In California it 
was expelled from the coast counties, notably after the 
severe drought of 1862-3, and thence was for the most 
part driven across the ranges into Nevada and to the 
slopes of the Rock}^ mountains, there to be in due 
time assailed. 


Not that it is entirely expelled, for California still 
contains her cattle-kings. Moreover, farmers adopt 
it on a smaller scale as a valuable adjunct to their 
fields, for gleaning and manuring. Tliey have found 
additional profit from the superior quality and size of 
tiie animals fed on cultivated grasses, within fences 
which save the cost of herding. The value of this 
method is shown in the improvement effected in the 
stock, which once ran wild on the Spanish frontier 
plains. The merino sheep brought from Europe by 
the conquerors had here deteriorated to animals bear- 
ing only a little coarse wool. The breed that is raised 
in Vermont and other eastern states was subsequently 
introduced on a large scale and with excellent re- 
sults, California, for instance, becoming famed for 
the weight and texture of her fleeces, the size of her 
animals and the quality of her blankets. In some- 
what similar degree have the cattle and horses been 
improved, the latter gaining a reputation in California 
for speed, in Montana and adjoining territories for 
strength and endurance, qualities due to soil, atmos- 
phere, and other conditions. 

The decrease in special stock-raising is less to be 
regretted, when we consider its comparatively insig- 
nificant contribution to progress. Small towns or 
hamlets, and comfortless dwellings, mark the pre- 
dominance of cowboys and herders, and even the 
relatively settled conditions attending the industry in 
colonial California did not produce other than dingy 
homesteads, equally neglected within and without. 
They bred a restless disposition unfavorable to the 
amenities of advancino- civilization. 


Climatic influence is more strongly marked on the 
Pacific coast than in the east. In Mexico and large 
sections of Central America three zones, correspond- 
ing to tropic, semi- tropic, and temperate, follow closely 
one upon the other along the abrupt slopes from the 
ocean to the lofty plateau of the interior east, with 


its own peculiar vegetation. Northward the cHmate 
ranges from the semi-tropic in California to the tem- 
perate on the uplands eastward and toward Alaska, 
where plant life fades away under Arctic severity ; 
yet grain can be cultivated as far north as Pease 
river and near the Rocky mountains, in Wyoming, at 
an altitude of seven thousand feet. Rich sheltered 
valleys and dry wind-scoured plains alternate, with 
thermal belts throughout, favored above adjoining sec- 
tions by freedom from frost or other drawbacks. 

California is particularly well endowed by nature, 
with the balmy climate of perennial spring, permitting 
the constant and rapid growth of animals as well as 
plants; easy cultivation; leisurely harvest under an 
unclouded sky ; varied products among which the \'me 
is gradually assuming the foremost place, to shape 
the future of the state; to form here the France of 
North America, with the small farms and vineyards 
of a closely settled population, excelling in intelligence 
and prosperity. 

Soil and climate in uniting to assign different staple 
products to different regions gave to Mexico maize 
and frijoles, as well as the agave, which provides mate- 
rial for food, drink, clothing, building, and many other 
industries ; and by their side flourish coffee, sugar, 
cocoa, vanilla, dyewoods, cochineal, and many drugs 
and fibres. In California oats sought tlie moister 
coast region ; barley throve in the interior valleys, its 
culture stimulated by the increase of breweries ; maize, 
being less adapted to the soil in general, had to yield 
the first place to wheat, whose glutinous and dry 
qualities soon opened to it the markets of the world. 
Here also the vine found not only a congenial soil 
but a peculiar development in a low self-supporting 
stalk favorable to cultivation and cheapness. The 
southern lowlands yielded sweeter wine, and north- 
ward the poorer slopes compensated for quality by 
dryness and superior quality. Low pruning promoted 
also the safety and quality of the orchards, and the 


thrifty growth of the mulberry tree permitted the 
raising of the silkworm. On the interior plateaux 
predominate, as we have seen, livestock, with crops of 
barley and certain artificial grasses. 

Social conditions have interposed their influence to 
create eras in staple productions. Thus the Spanish 
conquest lifted from neglect the tierra caliente regions 
by means of sugar and coffee plantations, before 
unknown in Mexico. In California the access of 
Boston trading vessels caused the expansion of stock- 
raising: from a mere branch to the all-absorbino; occu- 
pation of the province. This jdelded in its turn to 
wheat, and now the vine and citrus, after several 
ephemeral excitements, rise to the leading position. 
In the interior the mines first gave incentive to vege- 
table gardening, followed by general farming, which 
is gradually encroaching upon stock-raising. The 
increase in cereals and other products was marked, 
moreover, by a series of shocks to trade, which had 
to abandon one class of provisions after another, and 
seek compensation from other imports, and in time 
from exports. In California the blow to mercantile 
enterprise from the sudden expansion of home pro- 
duction was so severe as to cause disaster. 

The massing of population exhibits also its efffect on 
cultivation. Dairies seek the vicinity of large towns : 
milk producers nearest, butter and cheese makers 
next to them. Gardeners gather in between, com- 
posed of Italians and Chinese, the latter adhering 
mostly to the old-fashioned methods in vogue across 
the ocean, where the spade is widely the substitute 
for the plough. As for ornamental gardening, that 
pertains almost exclusively to the Anglo-Saxons. 
Although the aborigines of Mexico display an admir- 
able fondness for flowers, the Spanish portion of the 
population cares little for the slirubbery, lawns, and 
flower-beds which form so attractive a setting for 
homes in the United States. The Spaniards abso- 


lutely denuded portions of Mexico of trees, and accus- 
tomed to the bare uplands of their own peninsula, 
they made no attempt to replace them, even though 
the planting of groves has been shown to increase the 
rainfall, while lessening the danger from the frequent 
floods in the interior valleys. So in colonial Califor- 
nia their dwellings stood bare and desolate in field or 
town, shrinking even from arboreal shade. Behold 
now, under new domination, the rivalry of residents 
to excel in beauty of architecture and in floral embel- 
lishment, with houses embowered in shrubbery and 
orchards, the streets lined with trees, the highways 
shaded, aud here and there attempts to remedy the 
omissions of nature by planting entire forests ! 

The races differ in their predilections. The Indian 
prefers the roaming life of a hunter, supplementing the 
chase with the search for roots and berries. The 
Spanish-American evinces a particular bent for a 
nomadic life, with little patience for enforced labor. 
The practical and progressive Anglo-Saxon excels in 
the energetic pursuit of the highest duties conducive 
to progress. 

The American has a decided inclination for experi- 
ments, surpassing in original and useful inventions. 
In California alone his ideas have revolutionized min- 
ing, reduced agricultural labor by the aid of machin- 
ery fully fifty per cent, and contributed a host of 
labor-saving appliances to other industries. Here 
the expense of ploughing has been reduced to less 
than half a dollar an acre, a rate unprecedented else- 
where, and seeding and harrowing are often performed 
at the same time, to the saving of time and labor. 
Machines exist also for cutting, threshing, and sack- 
ing grain in one operation. The result is that one 
man can here cultivate one hundred and thirty-seven 
acres, according to the federal census, while in Eng- 
land one man is employed for every fifteen acres. 
This indicates the vast scale on which agriculture is 
here carried on, due partly to the cheapness of land 


and the easy conditions for cultivation, which led to 
inventions and speculative efforts. This remark 
applies also to many interior states, although Califor- 
nia presents exceptional facilities. 

Agricultural colonies, promoted by the government 
or by associations, form a conspicuous feature. Aside 
from missionary efforts to establish farms and train 
Indians to work them, the Spanish frontier settle- 
ments were largely composed of semi-military colonies, 
from Texas to California, and even at present along 
the Mexican border. In British Columbia ihe fur 
monopoly bound itself to introduce settlers, and so 
build up the country, although its performance was 
meagre. In Alaska convicts were utilized for the 
same purpose. The United States offered premiums 
of large land grants to encourage the occupation of 
Oregon, and stood ever prepared to protect those who 
advanced its frontiers. 

Thus ever increasing bands of settlers began in the 
thirties to cross to the Pacific coast, whose praises 
had been sung by trappers and travellers for a decade 
previously. They shunned the intermediate slopes of 
the Rocky mountains, stamped as they were by offi- 
cial declaration as desert plains and basins. Mining 
was the next colonizing medium, and brought fresh 
observers to controvert such false statements, and 
encourage the industry of farming. It also assisted 
in filling up the north Mexican states. Otherwise 
Spanish colonization was a forced measure for terri- 
torial expansion. This feeling actuated also the peo- 
ple of the United States, but it was subordinate to 
the desire for securing homes, with the advantage of 
an early selection of sites and resources. 

Colonies of modern days are becoming much more 
cooperative. In such settlements as Greeley in Colo- 
rado, and Anaheim in California, irrigation and town 
improvements form the sole mutual bond, but others 
proceed further. In U tah poor immigrants are aided 


by the state and by neighbors to reach the country 
and to establish farms: implements, seed, and other 
material, and provisions until harvest, being freely 
provided, together with practical guidance. They 
start under fair prospects, although so hampered by 
debt and dues, and, as elsewhere, by lack of sufficient 
markets as rarely to earn more than a bare subsist- 
ence. The commune system is ancient in America. 
Among the Nahuas land was in common, as I have 
said, as well as many other adjuncts, cind Mexico still 
maintains the communal features in many directions, 
with town pastures and certain labor for the general 
fund. In Yucatan the farmers assist one another in 
tillage and care of crops. 

Cooperation appe?.rs also in various associations, as 
of stock and grain growers, horticulturists, and so 
forth, for protecting and improving their respective 
interests. The granges have gone so far as to open 
warehouses, banks, and stores, and even to provide 
special means of transportation, in order to render 
themselves independent of middlemen. Their exist- 
ence is a standing check on extortion in behalf also of 
the mass which does not join them. It is a protect- 
ing bulwark which does much to foster prosperity and 
attract immigration. To this end contribute also the 
many agricultural societies of states and counties, 
with their experiments, displays of methods and 
results, and premiums. The unfolding of science and 
inventions will give wide expansion to cooperative 
methods and division of labor, partly by the assign- 
ment of special tasks to agents or to cliartered cor- 
porations, under healthful control. 

Such, in brief, is the condition of agriculture on 
the Pacific coast, in its social and industrial aspects. 
With our advantages of soil and climate it has dis- 
tributed among the white population a prosperity 
seldom equalled in other portions of the world. On 
the aboriginal and mixed races of Mexico and Cen- 


tral America its effect has been to relieve them from 
the straits of a precarious existence, alternating be- 
tween abundance and lingering starvation, between 
enervating indolence and subjection to cruel hard- 

i/^^^diriiM ^^y^ipij^T, j\Fi. 



Ancestry — Move to Canada, and thence to Missottri — Overland to 
California — Incidents of the Journey — The First Wagons to 
Cross the Sierra — Political Issues — The Murphys Join Michel- 
torena — Life at San Jose — Grants and Squatters — Close of 

In the annals of California there is little that con- 
tains more of interest, and certainly little that is 
more instructive, than the lives of its representative 
pioneers, — those for the most part stout-hearted and 
self-reliant men, who by their courage and tireless 
energy contributed so large a part toward laying the 
foundations of our present social life, and of the com- 
monwealth as it exists to-day. 

It is not always the person whose name is most on 
the lips of men who has performed the most valuable 
service to the community. The best and most use- 
ful lives are often those that cause the least com- 
ment. For the influence for good of one man who 
founds a household, and reg-ulates it in accordance 
with the principles of the moral law, of sobriety; of 
justice to one's neighbor, is, I do not scruple to say 
it, vastly greater than that of the man who wrangles 
himself into eminence in senate or legislature, or 
fights his way to glory in war. And particularly, in 
a country like California, where domestic life can 
hardly be said ever to have had so firmly established 
a hold as in many of the older states, such a man, 
together with the family he establishes, is a shining 



light, whose example cannot be hid, and whose in- 
fluence must be taken into account in considering the 
growth of a new social organism from the condition 
of a raw frontier community toward principles of 
good order and of justice in the every day relations 
of life. 

The Murphy family is one of the oldest in Ireland, 
and embraces in its lineage, priests, warriors, and 
rulers. At the opening of the present century its 
representatives resided at Balnamough, in the county 
of Wexford, near the spot where the ruined towers 
of the royal palace, once inhabited by the kings of 
Leinster, overlook one of the most beautiful vales in 
Ireland. Here, on November 12, 1785, was born 
Martin Murphy the elder, and here he spent his 
youth and early manhood. While still quite young 
he married Miss Mary Foley, several members of 
whose family afterward became prominent in America, 
one being an archbishop of Baltimore, and another 
archbishop of Chicago ; while still another, the Right 
Reverend John Foley, bishop of Detroit. In 1807 was 
born Mr Murphy's eldest son, Martin Murphy junior. 
A number of other children were born to him at Bal- 
namough, among whom were several sons, and a 
daughter, named Mary. As his family increased, 
Mr Murphy, who was an intelligent, industrious, and 
pious man, became more and more discontented with 
the disadvantages under which the Irish people were 
placed by the government of Great Britain, and with 
the meagre political liberty accorded them. He 
therefore determined to leave his native land ; and 
in 1820, taking with him all his children except his 
eldest son, then a boy of thirteen, and his daughter 
Mary, he emigrated to Canada, settling at Frampton 
near Quebec, where he purchased land and estab- 
lished his home. 

A few years later, in 1828, the younger Martin, 
with his sister Mary, set out to join his father in 
Canada. Soon after leaving port the vessel was 


driven by contrary winds into the harbor of Water- 
ford, and here many of the passengers, losing heart, 
abandoned their voyage. The Murphys were not 
among them, but kept on their way, landing safely at 
Quebec after a pleasant trip of twenty-eight days, at 
that time one of the quickest passages on record. 
Upon his arrival young Martin spent several years 
in Quebec. On July 18, 1831, he married Miss 
Mary Bulger, whose wifely devotion followed him 
through all the vicissitudes of over fifty years. The 
year after his marriage he left Quebec, owing to an 
outbreak of cholera, and purchased 200 acres of land 
near his father at Frampton, felling with his own 
hand the large trees upon the place, shaping them 
into planks, and making for himself a home in the 
wilderness. At that date the population consisted 
mainly of French Canadians ; but already the elder 
Murphy had gathered around him an Irish settle 
ment, in the midst of which for many years he lived 
like a chieftain among his tribe. 

But the sterile soil and harsh climate of this por- 
tion of Canada were serious drawbacks to protracted 
settlement, and it was at length determined to remove 
to some more hospitable region. At this time glow- 
ing reports were in circulation concerning the fertile 
lands and boundless resources of Missouri ; and in 
1840 the elder Murphy and his children, with ffce 
exception of his sons Martin and James, set out for 
that region, and after traversing the wilderness that 
lay between, settled in Holt -county, on what was 
then called the Platte purchase. Two years later 
his sons joined him, the elder leaving in the church- 
yard of St Edwards two of his four children. Of 
this little church, where amid the wilds of Canada the 
devout assembled for worship half a century ago, not 
a vestioje now remains, while a dense o^rowth of under- 
brush covers the graves in which many of their sons 
and dauojhters were laid to rest. 


By modern travellers a trip from Quebec to St 

0. li. ITI. 2 


Joseph would be considered but a trifling matter; but 
in 1842 the journey occupied ahnost as much time as 
would now suffice to make the circuit of the globe. 
From Quebec they steamed up the St Lawrence to 
Montreal ; thence across Lake St Louis, and by way 
of the St Lawrence to Kingston ; thence crossing 
lake Ontario, they proceeded up the Niagara river to 
Lewiston, just below the falls, and thus to Buffalo ; 
from Buffalo they went by Lake Erie to Cleveland, 
Ohio, and then proceeded by canal to Portsmouth on 
the Ohio river ; thence they went by steamer to Cin- 
cinnati and Louisville ; thence down the Ohio to 
Cairo and by way of the Mississippi to St Louis. 
From this city they proceeded up the Missouri to 
the Platte purchase, a few miles below the present 
flourishing city of St Joseph. The site of the city, 
however, contained at that date only a few scattered 
farms, and a solitary grist-mill. From the landing- 
place the family was conveyed to a spot known as 
English grove, so called by an English settler who 
applied the name to the only cluster of trees that 
appeared in this timberless region. Here the younger 
Martin purchased some three hundred acres, a por- 
tion of which he planted in wheat and corn, and here 
the family thought to spend the remainder of their 
days. The soil was fertile, and the settlers had every 
reason to feel satisfied with their success in aoTicul- 
ture. They were soon followed thither by many of 
their former neighbors from Canada ; and a settle- 
ment was formed, to which was given the name of 
Irish grove. 

The spot was not destined, however, to be their 
permanent home. There were several things that 
caused th.em to feel dissatisfied with the locality. 
First and most important of all was the fact that 
there were no reliojious advantac^es. This was se- 
verely felt, for the Murphys had always been loyal 
catholics, and were desirous that their children should 
be trained in the faith of their fathers, There was 


also the lack of any adequate educational facilities, a 
serious matter with a family in which there were so 
large a number of children. In addition, the climate 
of this part of Missouri was malarious ; ague and 
other ailments common to newly settled regions pre- 
vailed. Among the victims of the fever was Mr 
Murphy's wife, who had been Mary Foley, and who 
was deeply and deservedl}^ regretted. His son, the 
younger Martin, had also lost three daughters, Eliza- 
beth, Mary, and Nellie. At this juncture, while the 
Murphys were mourning over the loss of loved ones, 
and full of anxiety as to the fate of others, the settle- 
ment was visited by a priest. Father Hookins, who 
in the spirit of his church had penetrated the wilder- 
ness to administer the sacraments to those of his 
faith who were residing in this outpost of civiliza- 
tion. He was a man who had travelled widel}^, and 
who was well informed. He described to them the 
well-nig'h perfect climate of California, told them of 
its fertile soil, and spoke of the missions, of the 
churches and schools which had been established by 
the Franciscan Fathers, and of the religj-ious and 
educational advantages they would consequently 
enjoy. To their inquiries he responded by giving 
them all the information he possessed as to the loca- 
tion of this western land, and as to the route by 
which it was to be reached. When the elder Murphy 
announced his intention to set out thither, he found 
all the other members of the family ready to follow 
him, in spite of the prospect that lay before them of 
a journey of two thousand miles through the wilder- 
ness. In the spring of 1844, the elder Murphy, then 
in his sixtieth year, gathered around him his chil- 
dren and his grandchildren, disposed of his farm and 
most of his effects, purchasing with the proceeds oxen, 
wagons, and provisions, and started for the rendez- 
vous frontier post on the Missouri, later known as 
Kanesville, and later still as Council bluffs. Although 
this company was piloted by Elisha Stevens, it is 


usually known as the Murphy party, from the num- 
ber and prominence of the members of the family. It 
consisted of Martin Murphy senior ; his eldest son, 
Martin Murphy junior, wife, and four children, 
James, Martin, Patrick W., and Bernard D. ; his son 
James Murphy, wife, and daughter Mary ; his sons 
Bernard Murphy, John M. Murphy, and Daniel 
Murphy ; his daughters Ellen and Mary ; James 
Miller, the husband of the latter, afterward a resi- 
dent of San Bafael ; Mr Martin, the father of Mrs 
James Murphy ; Dennis Martin, Patrick Martin, Dr 
J. B. Townsend and wife, Allen Montgomery and 
wife, Captain Stevens, who afterward settled in 
Tulare county, Mr Hitchcock, Mrs Patterson and 
family. Mat Harbin, Mr Calvin, John Sullivan, after- 
ward of the Hibernia bank, and his sister, Robert 
Sullivan, Michael Sullivan, John Flombeau, a Cana- 
dian half-breed, Joseph Foster, Oliver Magnet, Fran- 
cis Delanet, old Mr Greenwood, and Moses Schellen- 
berger, a brother of Mrs Townsend, at that time a 
boy of eighteen. There were eleven wagons, the 
younger men being mounted. A party of Oregon 
emio-rants accompanied them as far as the sink of the 
Humboldt, the combined company numbering nearly 
a hundred persons. Martin Murphy, the elder, was 
chosen captain of the California party, with his eldest 
son next in command. 

At the rendezvous at Council bluffs the party 
remained for a few days to make repairs and perfect 
their plans. The following account of the journey 
was furnished by one of the members of the party, 
beginning with the passage of the river. "The wagons 
were safely crossed in a rude flat-boat, and it was 
intended to swim the cattle. The river was full, and 
they refused to take to the water, and when forced in 
would swim in a circle, trying to save themselves by 
climbing on each other's backs. They were finally 
permitted to return to the bank, but some sank in 
the sand, which had been tramped by them until it 


was treacherous as quicksand. When the water 
receded, a few of the mired cattle were dug out, but 
others were fastened so securely and deep that it was 
impossible to rescue them, and they were abandoned. 
It was a question whether they would be able to 
cross with their cattle at all. At last an expedient 
was hit upon. Two men got into a canoe with a line, 
which was tied round the horns of one of the gentlest 
of the oxen. The ox was urged into the water until 
he was compelled to swim, after which the men in the 
canoe could easily guide him. Other cattle were then 
forced into the stream, and following the lead of the 
first, they were all safely crossed to the other side. 

" They were now in the country of the Otoe 
Indians, a tribe which, though not considered hos- 
tile, had a very bad reputation for honesty. Of the 
people of the train only a few had crossed when 
nigjht came, and the yountv men volunteered to 2:0 
over and stand guard. Those who were on the Otoe 
side were Martin Murphy and his family, and John 
Sullivan, with his two brothers and his sister Mary, 
who afterwards married Mr Sherbeck, of San Fran- 
cisco ; John Murphy and Moses Schellenberger had 
been chosen corporals of the guard. They were mere 
boys, not over eighteen years old, but were excellent 
marksmen, and had a reckless bravery born of fron- 
tier life. The wagons were formed into a corral by 
drawing them into a circle and placing the tongue of 
one wao^on on the hind wheel of the one in front, thus 
making a very good sort of a fortification. The guard 
was placed outside of the corral and relieved every 
two hours, each relief being in charge of a corporal, 
whose duty it was to go from post to post and see 
that each sentinel Avas alert. While in places where 
the cattle might be lost or stolen, it was customary 
to graze them under charge of herdsmen until dark, 
and then to bring them to the wagons. This pre- 
caution was taken on this first night across the river, 
on account of the bad reputation of the Otoes. The 


time passed quietly until midnight, when the young 
corporals became disgusted with the monotony, and 
resolved to play a joke on John Sullivan. The pro- 
position was made by John Murphy, and endorsed by 
Schellenberger, though not without some misgivings 
as to what the result would be if Martin Murphy 
should detect them. To be assured, they told Mr 
Murphy of the plot, who entered heartily into the 
spirit of the scheme. Accordingly John unfastened 
Sullivan's cattle, and drove them some distance into 
the woods, and he then gave the alarm. Sullivan, 
who it seems had all nig^ht been convinced in his own 
mind that the Indians were hovering about the camp, 
jumped up with his gun in his hand, and all joined in 
the pursuit of the oxen. After a long chase, in 
which Sullivan was given a due amount of exercise, 
tlie cattle were captured and secured to the wagon 
Sullivan returning to his slumbers. He had barely 
got to sleep when the alarm w^as again given, and he 
again turned out, w^ith some words not indicating re- 
spect for the thieving Otoes. This time the boys 
had driven the cattle further than before, and the 
only way they could be followed was by the clin- 
king of the yoke ring. During the chase, Sullivan 
climbed to the top of a log, and stood listening in- 
tently for this sound. John Murphy, who was lying 
concealed behind this log, when he saw Sullivan 
in this position, fired his gun into the air which 
was a shotgun heavily loaded. Sullivan leaped into 
the air, and as soon as he could recover himself ran 
at full speed to the wagons, crying out that he had 
been shot by an Indian, In the meantime the cattle 
were recovered and secured to the wagon, and Sulli- 
van stood guard over them until daylight. He used 
afterwards frequently to refer to the narrow escape 
he had from the Indians in the Otoe country." 

Two days later the emigrants had crossed the Mis- 
souri, and were in full swing westward. When the 
Elkhorn was reached they crossed it in a rude ferry- 


boat constructed from one of the wagon boxes, ren- 
dered water-tight by a covermg of raw-hides. The 
other wagons were taken to pieces, and with their 
contents conve^^ed across the river in this improvised 
craft. The process was long and tedious. After all 
the goods were landed, the cattle and horses were 
forced into the river as before, one being taken for- 
ward as a leader. 

Passing thence through the Pawnee country and 
by the north fork of the Platte, which was followed as 
far as Scott bluffs, they encountered buffalo. "The 
first were a few old bulls," says the same narrator, 
*' which, not being able to defend themselves from the 
attacks of the younger animals, had been driven from 
the herd. They were poor and scrawny, but as they 
were the first the boys had seen, they must neces- 
sarily have a hunt. After putting about twenty 
bullets into the bod}^ of one old patriarch, they suc- 
ceeded in bringing him to the ground within fifty 
feet of the wagons, in the direction of which he had 
charged when first wounded. The meat w^as poor, 
and did not pay for the ammunition expended in pro- 
curing it." Shortly afterward they came across herds 
of younger buffalo, and were able to keep themselves 
provided with an abundance of this excellent meat. 
On the march across the plains, the company met 
w4th few losses in cattle or other stock. Occasion- 
ally an animal would die, or stiay from camp. In 
one case it is related that an ox beloncringj to Martin 
Murphy junior broke away from the corral in the 
night, and could not be recovered. Mr Murphy 
therefore had to yoke an old milch cow to the team ; 
and it was some weeks before he was able to find 
another ox to supply the place of the one that had 

The party at length reached Fort Laramie, where 
they found four thousand Sioux encamped near the 
fort with their women and children. There was, 
however, no immediate danger to be apprehended 


from them, as the tribe was for the time friendly. 
The party halted at Laramie a number of days, feed- 
ing their stock on the abundant grass, and trading 
some of their horses for Indian ponies, which they 
believed would prove hardier and better adapted to 
the plains. From the Indians they purchased also 
moccasins to take the place of shoes now nearly worn 

The party, though so large, was an exceptionally 
harmonious one, and scarcely any disputes arose. 
One occurrence, however, more amusing than serious, 
is related : " While passing through the Sioux coun- 
try, the orders were that no fires should be lighted 
after dark. This order was disregarded by an elderly 
man named Derby, who kept his fire burning after 
hours. Dr Townsend, who had charge of the watch 
that night, remonstrated with him. Derby answered, 
that Captain Stevens, who had given the order, was 
an old granny, and that he would not put out his fire 
for him or any one else. The fire was duly extin- 
guished by Townsend, who thereupon returned to his 
duties. A few minutes only had elapsed when the 
fire was burning as brightly as before. Townsend 
again went to Derby and told him he must put the 
fire out. ' No,' answered Derby, ' I will not, and I 
don't think it will be healthy for anyone else to try 
it.' The doctor, seeing that argument was useless, 
walked up to the fire and scattered it broadcast, say- 
ing to Derby at the same time, ' It will not be well 
for you to light that fire again to-night.' The doctor 
was known to be very determined, although a man of 
few words, and Derby's fire was not again lighted. 
Before the next morning he complained to Captain 
Stevens, the guide, who it seems had been a witness 
of the transaction the night before. Stevens sus- 
tained Townsend ; and Derby with an oath declared 
he would not travel with such a crowd ; and he actually 
did camp about half a mile behind the train for a week 
afterwards, but he lighted no fires after dark. One 


day when the party had stopped for noon, some of 
the boys returning from a buffalo hunt reported that 
they had seen a band of Sioux. That night Derby 
camped with the train, and remained with them after- 
wards, cheerfully submitting to all the rules." 

During all their journey through a region as yet 
unoccupied except by savages, the company were 
never molested by the latter, and even maintained 
with them friendly relations, sometimes pitching 
their tents side by side with an Indian encampment, 
inviting the Indians to their own quarters, and mak- 
ing them presents of game, fresh meat, blankets, and 
cast-off articles of clothing. At nioht sentinels were 
posted, and a strict watch maintained until day- 
light ; and thus with proper vigilance and kindly 
treatment they suffered no harm from their dusky 
brethren. But for these precautions trouble would 
doubtless have occurred. 

After passing through the Sioux country the emi- 
grants continued by way of the right bank of the 
Platte and the Sweetwater. Up to this point they 
had been taking their time, and progress had been 
slow. As provisions were becoming short they de- 
termined before leaving the buffalo grounds to lay up 
enough dried meat to last them, and each day four or 
five men were sent out to kill buffalo. After they 
had proceeded some distance up the Sweetwater, they 
halted for some time, and organized hunting parties to 
scour the surrounding country for buffalo. At this 
camp, which was near Independence rock, a daughter 
was born to James Miller, to whom w^as o-iven the 
name of Ellen Independence, who later became pro- 
minent among the social circles of San Rafael where 
her father afterward resided. 

After leaving this camp on the Sweetwater they 
continued to hunt buffalo until the summit of the 
Rocky mountains was reached. No more buffalo 
were encountered beyond this point. From the top 
of the great divide they could see the land stretching 


far away until lost in the distance. The course of 
the rivers here was toward California, and they felt 
they were almost there. They little realized that 
the most difficult and painful part of their journey 
was still to come. 

On descending into the valley they moved toward 
Green river, passing Little and Big Sandy. After a 
whole day without water, they finally reached Green 
river. They were now in the country of the present 
Wyoming. While a portion of the party who had 
been separated from the train for two or three days 
were making their wa}^ back to camp, they saw two 
mounted Indians on a hill not far distant. A moment 
later others appeared, and in ten minutes a horde of 
several hundred savages were circling around them 
with war whoops and hideous yells. The little band 
of white men, among whom were Daniel Murphy 
and Schellenberger, were by no means daunted. 
Following the advice of the former they maintained 
a bold front, and awaited the approach of the enemy. 
They had already prepared themselves to meet the 
expected assault, when twenty of the Indians ad- 
vanced to within fifty yards and held out their hands 
in token of amity. They proved to be a band of 
friendly Shoshones and a number of them accom- 
panied the young frontiermen back to camp on Green 
river, where the Indians were courteously received and 
allowed to satisfy their curiosity by examining the 
camp. Under a less considerate leader, and with less 
self-restraint, they all might have perished. 

From Green river the company proceeded across a 
broken country to Bear river, and down that stream 
to Fort Hall. Here one of the Oregon party suc- 
cumbed, which was the only death that occurred dur- 
ing the journey. A coffin was made from planks 
taken one from each of the wagons. The deceased 
had joined the party at Council bluffs, and had ac- 
companied a man by the name of Shaw, the first to 
bring sheep across the plains. 


At Fort Hall the company remained a week or 
more. Being out of flour they were forced to pur- 
chase some here at a dollar a pound. Fort Hall 
was the point at which tlie Oregon trail branched off 
from the route to California, and here therefore the 
two companies separated. Proceeding, the Murphy 
party crossed Raft river and Goose creek, and came 
to the headwaters of the Humboldt, which stream 
they descended for a distance of five hundred miles, 
until they arrived at its sink, where they halted for a 
week. They found some difficulty in obtaining pure 
water, for alkali abounded everywhere ; but there 
was some feed, and the condition both of the emi- 
grants and of their stock v/as good. They were in 
much doubt, however, as to what route to follow from 
this point. Before them on the west lay a wide 
desert, and some of the company thought the proper 
route to take was to the south of it, while others 
thought the party should go due west. At length, 
after much anxious debate, an old Piute was discov- 
ered, with whom they were able to converse by 
means of signs, and by drawings in the sand. He 
offered to act as guide, and informad them that some 
fifty miles west there was a river, where were large 
trees, and where the grass and water were good. 
After three of the party had ascertained by recon- 
noitering that his statement was correct his services 
were accepted, and it was determined to set out 
across the desert without further waiting. To this 
old Indian was given the name of Truckee by the 
emigrants, on account of his resemblance to a French 
acquaintance of the Murphy's in Canada; and after 
him was named the river, and the town built in later 
years at the eastern limits of California. 

On the morning set for the departure an incident 
occurred that might easily have been fraught with 
disastrous results. The party up to this period had 
had no disputes with the Indians whom they had en- 
countered during their journey ; on the contrary 


they had received assistance from them, and informa- 
tion as to their course. But this result had been 
brought about only by the exercise of the greatest 
vigilance upon the part of the older men, especially 
of Martin Murphy senior and his eldest son. On 
some of the younger men, who were disposed to look 
with suspicion or dislike on the Indians, and to attri- 
bute to them any loss that occurred, a constant watch 
had to be kept, in order to prevent their less prudent 
judgment from giving way to some rash act. An- 
other of the party, a half-breed named Flombeau, 
who possessed the bitter hatred of his race for the 
Indians, would apparently have taken pleasure in 
shooting them down as he would elk or buffalo, in 
v/anton sport, had he been permitted to do so. On 
this morning, while teams were being harnessed and 
preparations for the departure were actively progres- 
sing, young Schellenberger, then a lad of eighteen, 
suddenly noticed that a halter was missing from his 
wajjjon. Several Indians of the neighboring tribe 
of Winnemuccas, attracted by the bustle, had been 
straying through the camp. Schellenberger, who, 
though young, was generally conspicuous for his pru- 
dence, was greatly irritated for the moment at the 
incident, and the consequent delay it caused him, and 
running to the place where the rifle stood, seized it 
and pointed it at the Indian who stood nearest the 
waofon. Just as he was about to fire, Martin Mur- 
phy junior, with great presence of mind, rushed in 
between them and threw up the gun. For a moment 
everything was in tumult, Indians from the neighbor- 
ing camp and white men crowding around in con- 
fusion. Through the wisdom of the leaders, however, 
the Indians were pacified b}^ explanations and apolo- 
gies, and were sent away loaded with presents. The 
act was merely the momentary impulse of a boy, and 
was hardly committed before it was regretted. 

The company set out across the desert the same 
day, carrj'ing with them cooked provisions for two 


days, together with all the water they could find ves- 
sels for, and did not pause until the following mid- 
night, when they halted at a boiling spring in a spot 
called later Hot Springs station, on the Central Paci- 
fic railroad. After a rest of two hours they again 
pressed forward. During the greater part of their 
march across this eighty miles of desert they were 
knee-deep in the alkali dust. Not a drop of water 
was encountered with the exception of the boiling 
spring just mentioned ; and the cattle were so crazed 
with thirst that for a time it was doubtful whether 
the emigrants would be able to reach the river with 
them. When the party arrived in sight of the 
stream, whose banks were covered with a rich growth 
of green grass and dotted with shade trees, it was 
necessary to unharness the horses and oxen, as other- 
wise they would have dashed headlong into the river, 
and wrecked the wagons. 

The company encamped for two days by the side 
of this river, which they named the Truckee in honor 
of the old chief who had guided them thither; and 
then, refreshed and invigorated, they set out up the 
stream toward the summit of the Sierra. As they 
ascended the river the country became rougher and 
the hills greater in altitude, and much of the time 
they were forced to travel in the bed of the stream. 
The latter was so tortuous in its course that often they 
were compelled to cross it eight or ten times in 
travelling a mile. The feet of the oxen were soft- 
ened by the water and worn down bj^^ the rough 
bowlders in the river bed ; the journey was also 
extremely fatiguing to all the party ; but it was 
necessary to press on, for it was now toward the 
middle of October, and already several light snows 
had fallen. The oxen had to be urged on constantly, 
or they would not have taken a step. Much of the 
time the men had to walk in the water beside them, 
in order to force them to move. As if this were not 
enough, there came a fall of snow a foot deep, cover- 


ing all the feed. " The poor, footsore oxen," says 
one of the party, ''after toiling all clay, would stand 
and bellow for food all night, in so piteous a manner 
that the emigrants would forget their own misery in 
their pity for their cattle ; but there was nothing to 
offer them except a few pine leaves, which were of no 
effect in appeasing their hunger." Still they toiled 
on, never thinking of turning back, and longing for a 
view of that lovely land so eloquently described to 
them by the mission priest in Missouri, until they 
arrived at the fork of the Truckee. Here they found 
an open place and rather good feed. They therefore 
encamped, the spot being that now occupied by the 
town of Truckee. 

As there was some difference of opinion as to the 
best route to follow in crossing the mountains, certain 
of the party who were impatient to reach the other 
side determined to leave the main body with the 
wagons, and to push forward on horseback up the 
main stream, and so reach some settlement on the 
western slope. This party consisted of Daniel and 
John M. Murphy, Miss Ellen Murphy, Mrs Town- 
send, her servant Francis, and Oliver Magnet. In 
the course of their journey Daniel Murphy, who was 
riding some miles in advance of the others, came upon 
Lake Tahoe, being it is said the first white man to gaze 
upon its placid waters. He at once rode back and 
told his companions of the magnificent body of water 
that lay in their path, and the whole party soon ar- 
rived in sight of it. From this lake they made their 
way to the head- waters of the American river, and 
descending the banks of the stream, after some diffi- 
culties and suffering, although without loss of life, 
they arrived at St Clair's rancho. 

In the meantime the main party with the wagons 
followed the Little Truckee for two miles until they 
reached a lake, which they named Truckee, but which 
has since been called Donner lake. Here they halted 
for several days. Only one mountain now lay be- 


tween them and California, but this appeared to be 
an insurmountable barrier. It was now toward the 
end of November, and the snow was two feet deep. 
The party spent a number of days in trying to find a 
pass, and at length discovered a route that appeared 
to them a practicable one, although attended with 
great difficulty. Before the company began the as- 
cent, Dr Townsend, who with his brother-in-law, 
Schellenberger, had brought along an invoice of 
costly goods consisting of broadcloth satins and silks 
with the intention of selling them in California, deter- 
mined not to risk the attempt to carry them across 
the mountain at present, but to store them by the 
side of the lake until he could reach California and 
make arrangements for having them brought over on 
pack-mules. As the goods were very valuable, 
Schellenberger volunteered in the mean time to re- 
main and take care of them. Two others, Joseph 
Foster and Allen Montgomery, offered to keep him 
company, which offer was accepted. The main party 
then started to cross the mountain. Following the 
north side of the lake to its head at the base of the 
mountain, the emicrrants unloaded the wao-ons, har- 
nessed to them double teams, and started toward the 
summit. The contents of the wagons were carried 
in their arms. About half way to the top of the 
mountain a perpendicular rock ten feet in height was 
discovered lying across their path, and they thought 
they would be forced to abandon the horses and cat- 
tle, and everything but the few goods that could be 
carried over on their shoulders. At lengrth, how- 
ever, a narrow rift m the rock was discovered, of just 
sufficient width to admit of the passage of one ox at 
a time. The yokes were removed, and the cattle 
driven through. The latter were then stationed near 
the upper edge of the reck, the harness was replaced 
on them, and chains were attached to the tongues of 
the wagons below. The men at the bottom then 
pushed the wagons upward as far as they were able, 


while the oxen tugroed at the chams ; and thus one 
by one the wagons were all finally landed on the 
other side of the barrier. After a few hours of fur- 
ther toil they reached the summit of the Sierra. 

Not since the days when the great law-giver be- 
held from Mount Pisgah the promised land, or since 
Vasco Nunez de Balboa gazed for the first time on 
the primeval glories of the Pacific, were men filled 
with so much of joy and gratitude as those who now 
looked down on the fair plains of California. Al- 
ready winter had put on her robe of emerald ; and 
beneath them in boundless prospect stretched terraces 
of brightest green, down which the mountain streams 
dashed headlong in their course toward the silent 
flowing rivers that interlaced, as with a thread of sil- 
ver, the vales of this western Eden. 

A march of twenty miles down into the valley 
brought them to the upper waters of the Yuba. It 
was now December, and on reaching the river they 
formed a camp, and determined to pass the remainder 
of the winter here. 

The Murphy party was thus the first to open 
a wagon trail across the plains to California, their 
route being mainly that traversed by the Union Pa- 
cific railroad in later years. They were also the first 
to cross the Sierra by way of the Truckee and Bear 
rivers, their route here also being substantially that 
now taken by the railroad ; and their train contained 
the first emigrant wagons that ever made tracks in 
Californian soil. 

Before they had been in camp many days rumors 
reached them of the civil conflict at that time taking- 
place in the territory between the Mexican governor, 
Micheltorena, and the native Californian party under 
the leadership of Alvarado and the Castros ; and it 
was not long before they found themselves unex- 
pectedly involved in the quarrel as partisans. 

Manuel Micheltorena, who, in 1842, had been ap- 
pointed governor of California and comandante-gen- 


eral, as the successor of Alvarado, was a man not 
without administrative abiUty and tact in minor af- 
fairs, and affable in disposition, with considerable dig- 
nity and impressiveness of bearing. Although in 
more serious affairs he was somewhat dilatory, and 
without very great force of character, he was never- 
theless desirous of dealing fairly with the Califor- 
nians, and of improving the condition of affairs in the 
department. U pon the whole his administration had 
been a good one, and personally also he was not un- 
popular. But he had the misfortune when he entered 
on the duties of his office to bring with him from 
Mexico as a guard, a battalion of men which the gov- 
ernment had recruited for him from amono; the most 
undesirable cmsses. The larger part of them were 
chollos, ex-convicts, whose presence was anything but 
agreeable to the Californians among whom they were 
quartered. They were an unprepossessing lot ; some 
were minus an ear, others had huge scars across their 
faces. There was scarcely one of them that did not 
possess some mark of former broils. If they had con- 
fined their evil propensities to the chicken-stealing 
for which they had a special aptitude, probably the 
Californians would have made up their minds to en- 
dure them. But their continued depredations, and 
especially the violence of their demonstration in favor 
of Micheltorena, when it was rumored that he was 
to be recalled to Mexico, led many people to fear that 
from a band of petty marauders they would soon be 
transformed into an organized company of robbers, 
who would be a source of terror to the whole coun- 
try. There were other causes to bring about the re- 
volt agjainst Micheltorena's rule. The Californians 
were great intriguers, and their generally bloodless 
revolutions were familiar incidents to most of the in- 
habitants since the days of Spanish rule. Among 
the more prominent Californians were several men, 
like Alvarado, the predecessor of Micheltorena, and 
Jose Castro, whose ambition prompted them to take 
c. B. in. 3 


advantage of the unpopularity of the chollo3 for per- 
sonal ends. There was also a certain amount of hos- 
tility among the native inhabitants of the department 
toward Mexicans de la otra banda, and a preference 
for Californians as opposed to Mexican rule. 

Therefore, when in November 1844, Alvarado, 
Castro, Jesiis Pico, and other malcontents signed a 
secret agreement at Monterey to oppose Micheltorena, 
and shortly afterward, with a party of fifty Califor- 
nians, issued a pronunciamento at the Canada de San 
Miguel, and seized the arms and stores at San Juan 
Eautista, they felt sure of the support of the larger 
part of the population in behalf of their cause. They 
went to work actively to effect an organization, and 
obtained a number of reinforcements. Their army 
consisted of about 150 men, under the command of 
Castro and Alvarado. From the Canada de San 
Miguel they retreated slowly north as Micheltorena 
advanced from Monterey. Reinforcements continued 
to arrive, including a company of Americans from 
San Jose under Charles M. Weber, until the insur- 
gent army amounted to about 220 men. Michel- 
torena halted at the ranch o of Juan Alvires, some 
ten miles southeast of San Jose ; and Castro and 
Alvarado, who by this time had reached Santa 
Clara, marched down thence to meet him. No battle 
was fought, for the two armies, after manoeuvering and 
negotiating for two or three days, finally came to an 
agreement, and a treaty was signed at Laguna Seca, 
by which Micheltorena bound himself to send the 
chollos from the country, and the insurgents agreed 
to return to San Jose, and await the fulfillment of 
his pledges. 

It appears certain, however, that Micheltorena 
had no intention of carrying out this promise when 
the treaty of Laguna Seca was signed, but merely 
made it to gain time. His own forces were not suf- 
ficient to assure him of a favorable result in case he 
gave battle to the rebels. He therefore wished to 


delay until reinforcements promised by Sutter should 
reach him at Monterey. 

Sutter had, from the inception of the revolt, been 
an ardent supporter of the governor. His motives 
for this have been variously stated. His friends, of 
whom he had many among all classes of Californians, 
have asserted that he desired simply to uphold the 
legitimate government in its attempt to put down an 
unwarranted rebellion. Others, who take a less 
favorable view, claim that his chief motive was the 
hope of receiving a large tract of land, which, he 
admits in his Personal Reminiscences, had been pro- 
mised to him by Michel torena. It is a difficult 
matter to pass judgment on the question now. That 
he w^as a man who had many good qualities, one who 
always treated new-comers with hospitality, and re- 
lieved their necessities, is an admitted fact. Whether 
in this case he was laboring to further his own pri- 
vate interests, or whether he really believed that the 
status of American settlers in California would be 
more secure under Micheltorena's rule than under 
that of the insurgent leaders, may be left an open 
question. However this may be, the facts are that 
he did everything in his power to enlist the American 
settlers in Micheltorena's support, and raised a bat- 
talion composed partly of them, and partly of his 
own followers, and some of the neighboring Indians. 
It was currently reported that in case Micheltorena 
was defeated, the rebels intended to banish all 
Americans from the territory and confiscate their 
property. It is true that some of Alvarado's men, 
who were incensed at the Americans for taking part 
in what the former regarded as their own private 
quarrel, had boasted that they intended to drive all 
the gringos out of the country ; but this was far from 
being an official utterance of the insurgent leaders ; 
and that the fear was entirely unfounded is proved 
not only by the fact that Alvarado as governor some 
years before had treated the Americans with great 


favor, but also by the fact that when subsequently 
successful the rebel leaders took no steps of this 
kind. The attempted revolution did not have in the 
remotest degree reference to the American settlers. 
But many, especially among the more recent comers, 
were naturally inclined to believe the reports, and 
were therefore disposed to take up arms with Sutter. 
Tiie Murphys, who had just arrived at the Yuba, 
were influenced somewhat by them, and felt that 
their families would be safer under the present gov- 
ernment than they would in the event of its overthrow 
by the insurgents. At any rate they determined to 
take up arms in behalf of Micheltorena's cause, 
which it could not be denied was that of the legiti- 
mate government; and they decided to set out at once 
for Sutter's fort to join the battalion which was there 
formino". Therefore, leavincr the women and chil- 
dren in care of James Miller and a few other men, 
the Murphys, together with most of the available 
men, set out from the camp. Upon their arrival at 
New Helvetia they were placed in a company of 
American riflemen, 100 strong, with Captain Gannt 
in command. Another company, composed of 100 
Indians, was commanded by Captain Ernest Rufus. 
These, together with eight or ten artillery men, and 
a brass field-piece, made up Sutter's little army, 
which, well armed as it was, and composed of skilled 
riflemen, was to be the arbiter of the coming contest. 
With this force Sutter marched to join Michel- 
torena. After passing Marsh's rancho, where they 
were joined somewhat reluctantly by the owner, 
their line of march lay through the Sunol rancho, 
the mission and town of San Jose, and along the 
Salinas river. The whole journey from New Helvetia 
occupied but a week. While nearing Salinas they 
came unexpectedly upon Manuel Castro, who was 
riding unattended, and made him a prisoner. A few 
days afterward they exchanged him for a prisoner 
taken by the other side, On the 9th of January they 


were joined by Micheltorcna, who had marched from 
Monterey to meet them. Their conjbined f(jrce now 
numbered 400 men ; and Alvarado, having only SO 
men, saw the hopelessness of ojDposing him, and re- 
solved to transfer the struggle to the south, where 
he was confident of support, and of large accessions 
to his ranks. Accordingly he retreated toward Los 
Angeles, where he arrived on the night of the 21st. 
Micheltorena, meanwhile continued slowly to ad- 
vance. At Santa Barbara he spent a week or more, 
then moved on to Carpinteria, where he again en- 
camped. At Los Angeles, in the meantime, a junta 
of the leading citizens had convened, and had sent to 
treat with Micheltorena, requesting him to dismiss 
the choUos in accordance with his promise, and assur- 
ing him of the support of all classes in case he acced- 
ed to this petition. Micheltorena, however, refused 
to treat with them, or to recognize the junta in any 
way. The latter thereupon met and declared the 
governorship vacant, and appointed Pio Pico gover- 
nor ad interim, at the same time forwarding to Mex- 
ico a record of their proceedings. Alvarado's force 
was augmented by recruits from Los Angeles, and by 
a company of Americans and other foreigners. His 
army then marched out from Los Angeles, and the 
advance guard of 150 men under Castro took up a 
position at San Buenaventura. 

On the 8th of February a party of fiftesn men, 
among whom was John M. Murphy, at that time a 
boy of nineteen, were sent out from Carpinteria, 
where Micheltorena was still linixerincr to reconnoitre 
the enemy's position. Venturing too near the hos- 
tile camp they were surrounded, and all taken prison- 
ers. After being detained five days in a large hall 
in San Buenaventura, during which time, however, 
they were well treated, they were sent back on pa- 
role. A few days later the Murphys were granted 
permission by Micheltorena to return to their fami- 
lies, whom they feared might be out of provisions, 



and possibty in serious want. They were joined by 
thirty-five others, who did not care longer to uphold 
a cause with which they no longer sympathized. 

The remaining incidents of the campaign are soon 
told. Castro retired to Los Angeles, and Mich el - 
torena moved on by way of San Buenaventura to the 
San Fernando valley, near the Cahuenga pass. Here 
Castro, reinforced by Alvarado, prepared to resist 
his further advance. The Americans on both sides, 
now thoroughly tired of the dispute, met and agreed 
to remain neutral, and Micheltorena, thus losing the 
portion of his force upon which he had reckoned 
most, after making a show of resistance and keeping 
up a cannonade for some hours, capitulated, no blood 
having been spilt upon either side, except that of two 
horses, and possibly that of a mule, which was cur- 
rently reported to be slain. 

Shortly afterward the chollos, who had been the 
cause of all this debate, were shipped back to Mexico, 
and Micheltorena himself soon departed. A little 
later Pico was confirmed by the Mexican authorities 
as the legitimate governor of California. 

The Murphys, in the meantime, had obtained a 
supply of provisions at Monterey, and had returned 
toward the Yuba. It was a proof of very consider- 
able courage on their part that they should thus set 
out alone, with no protection but their rifles, through 
several hundred miles of country aroused against 
Micheltorena and those who had taken his part. Bud 
their courage was equalled by their prudence, for 
during the journey not a hostile gun was fired, and 
providence seemed to be with them here, as it had 
been elsewhere. On reaching the Yuba they found 
all of the company safe, although provisions had be- 
come very scarce, and Mrs Patterson and her children 
had been forced to subsist for fourteen days on raw- 
hides. During their absence had been born the first 
of the native daughters of California of pioneer 
uarentage, Elizabeth Yuba Murphy, a daugliter of 


Martin Murphy the younger, afterward wife of Wil- 
liam P. Taaffe, one of the leading merchants of San 

In the meantime Schellenberger and the two men 
who had been left behind in the mountains had very 
nearly met the fate which two years later befell some 
of the members of the Donner party in the same 
locality. On the morning after the departure of the 
main body, the three men set to work to build a 
cabin, constructing the walls of new-cut saplings, and 
roofing it with rawrides and pine brush. The dimen- 
sions were about twelve by fourteen feet. A chim- 
ney eight or ten feet high was built on the outside, 
and large stones were used for the jams and back. 
The cabin had no windows, nor were the apertures 
chinked in the usual manner. A hole, cut for a door, 
was left open day and night. This cabin was one of 
the three used by the Donner party in 1846. 

For a time the men sustained themselves on such 
provisions as they had, hoping later to secure game. 
But the snow continued steadily to fall day by day, 
and by December, w^ien they had killed the two cows 
that had been left with them, the cabin was nearly 
covered by it. It was impossible to hunt, and noth- 
ing remained but to endeavor to force their way 
across the mountains to a settlement. Taking with 
them some strips of dried beef, some blankets, and 
their rifles, they set forth with snowshoes con- 
structed from such materials as were at hand. They 
made the mistake, however, of fastening the shoes at 
both heel and toe, and were thus obliged to lift the 
whole weight at each step, together with the soft 
snow that accumulated upon both extremities. The 
journey, in the course of which they were obliged 
to make their way through hazardous passes and 
over diflicult obstructions, was extremely fatiguing. 
Schellenberger, with untrained muscles and less 
staying power than that of the older men accom- 
panying him, in a few hours was scarcely able to 


drag one foot after the other. To add to his misery, 
in the middle of the afternoon he was seized with 
cramps, and fell down several times in a paroxysm, 
his companions waiting for him each time until the 
attacks had passed, and then assisting him to go for- 
ward. At sunset they arrived at the summit of the 
mountain. They made a fire on the crust of the 
snow, and lay down on a bed of pine brush ; but all 
night long they remained awake. In the morning 
Schellenberger was so stiff that it was out of the 
question for him to think of attempting the long 
journey that still lay before them. Nothing was 
left but for him to return to the cabin, while his 
companions went on without him. It was a dismal 
parting, and the words " Good-by, Mose " which fell 
upon his ears as he turned away never ceased to ring 
in them in after years. He made his way back to 
the lonely cabin, and with great tenacity supported 
life through the months that followed, watching for 
the relief which his friends had pledged themselves 
to send him. He found it impossible to kill any 
game, for the few foxes and coyotes that remained in 
the mountains were too shy to permit him to approach 
within range. When only a small piece of dried beef 
remained, and the thought of starvation was becom- 
ing familiar to him, his eyes happened one day to fall 
upon some steel traps left by Captain Stevens in one 
of his wagons. It was a happy thought. With the 
heads of the two old cows for bait, he set the traps 
that night, and when, on approaching them the next 
morning, he found a half-starved coyote between the 
teeth of one of them, he felt that death was now in- 
definitely postponed. Three days later he trapped 
two foxes, which he found better food than the 
coyote. He was so hungry, he says, that he could 
have eaten a fox at two meals ; but he made one 
last him two days, and hung up those he did not 
need. He had no vegetables or bread, but he did 
not crave them. Happily he had some books left 


from the collection which Dr Townsend had brougj-lit 
with him, and the sound of his own voice as he read 
aloud by the light of the pine knots in the evening 
served to break the monotonous silence of the weary 

One evening toward the last of February, as he 
was standing before his cabin observing the sunset, 
he thouorht he saw in the distance the fioure of a 
man approaching. His first thought was that it was 
an Indian, but in a few minutes he recognized the 
kindly face of Dennis Martin. 

After their joyful greetings w^ere over, there was 
much news to be related on both sides. When his 
own narrative had been told, he learned from Martin 
of the safe arrival of the party at the Yuba, of the 
Micheltorena war, and of some of the deprivations 
the company had been obliged to undergo during the 
absence of the men. 

On the next morning the two set out together, and 
Martin, w4io was a Canadian, and accustomed to the 
use of snow-shoes, showed Schellenberger how to fas- 
ten them. Without serious hardship, although with 
some suffering on the part of Schellenberger, who 
was weak from scanty food and lack of exercise, they 
at length reached camp, shortly before the arrival of 
Martin Murphy and the other men from the war. 

The party, once more united, pushed on toward 

Sutter's fort by way of Bear river, and after 

some further difficulties from spring freshets and lack 

of food, at last reached the fort toward the end of 

March 1845. 

Thus ended this journe}^ There are two features 
in it that are especially worthy of note. The first is 
that it was a peaceful journey. There were no In- 
dian fights, no loss of life, no injustice shown to red 
men or white. The second feature is that the whole 
journev, including both the trip across the plains, and 
over the Sierra Nevada, was accomplished without 
serious loss of property. The party brought with 


them to their new homes in CaUfornia the horses, 
wao-ons, and goods with which they had set out. 
This was due to tlie prudence and good judgment of 
the party, especially of its leader, as well as to the 
moderation and kindness which they showed to the 
savage races with whom they came in contact. 

After spending a week at Sutter's fort the several 
members of the party separated, each family taking 
its own course. Martin Murphy senior, together 
with his children and their families, proceeded to San 
Jose. Here, some thirty miles to the south of that 
town, he purchased a tract of land, giving it the name 
of St Martin, and eng^agjed in stock-raisings. Sur- 
rounded by his children, he prospered, living in patri- 
archal abundance, with his flocks and herds, his lands 
and his numerous household. His name was known 
far and wide throughout the state for the hospitality 
he showed to all. The adobe house in which he 
resided, though long since crumbled into dust, was 
situated on the highway between Monterey and San 
Francisco and was the stopping-place for all travel- 
lers who passed that way. It is related by General 
Sherman that the army officers in California, no mat- 
ter in what direction they were heading, would try to 
bring up at Murphy's, where they knew they would 
have a good time. 

One member of the household who added light to 
it in the eyes of all sojourners was Ellen Murphy, a 
sweet and attractive girl, bright and witty, and like a 
sunbeam, especially in a country where members of 
the gentler sex were so rare. She was for many 
years one of the best known woman in California. 
She was married, in 1850, to Captain Weber, the 
founder of Stockton, and a veteran of the Mexican 

When the death of the elder Murphy occurred, on 
the IGth of March 1865, no one was more deeply 
regretted. To rich and poor alike his hospitalities 
had been extended, and ho was mourned by all. It 


is related of him that he never uttered a harsh or 
uukiud word, even of an enemy — if it can be said 
that he had an enemy — wliile he was ever ready 
witii excuses for those whose conduct had been cen- 
sured. Strict in his rehgious duties, he never failed 
until a short time before his death to attend each 
Sunday the church at San Jose, although it was dis- 
tant some twenty miles from his home. Here also 
his remains were interred, followed to the grave 
by a large concourse of mourners. 

Kindly and considerate in his life, with truth and 
sincerity stamped on his gentle features, his character 
justified the reputation he bore as one of the noblest 
of Christian gentlemen. 

Other members of the Murphy family had mean- 
time prospered in life, and had acquired wealth and 
prominence in various portions of the state. In the 
summer of 1845, Martin Murphy the younger had 
purchased two square leagues of land on the Moco- 
sume, now the Cosumnes river, about eighteen miles 
from Sacramento, or New Helvetia, as were then 
called the single adobe house and fort of which the 
settlement was composed. There he remained until 
1849, raisino; the first wheat that was ever gjrown in 
the Sacramento valle}^ His crops were cut by In- 
dians with sickles, and collected into a single stack, 
portions of it being pulled to the ground, as required, 
and the grain trampled out by horses, and then 
thrown against the winds to separate the chaff and 
dust from the wheat. This primitive mode of thrash- 
ing was the only one in use at that time. There was 
one thing observed with regard to it, however, 
namely, that under this system rust or smut was 
unknown, and the kernel of the wheat was preserved 
from injury. 

At this date food was abundant in the Sacramento 
valley; for on the plains were countless bands of deer 
and antelope, while on the ranchos were lakes well 
stocked with fish throush the winter overflow of the 


river. The waters of the Sacramento wore then as 
dear as crystal, and abounded with sahnou; but after 
the introduction of hydrauhc mining bc^tli streams 
and lakes and the l3ottom lands adjoining were 
choked with debris. 

At his home on the Cosumnes he entertained Cap- 
tain Fremont and his party, among whom were Kit 
Carson, Godoy, and others, who had been piloted 
over the Sierra by John M. Murphy. Fremont, 
indeed, made the rancho his headquarters for a time. 
Here also, after he had removed farther north, the 
Bear flag revolution was first discussed, and here 
occurred the first act of hostility against the Mexi- 
cans, Lieutenant Arce being surprised and captured, 
and the band of horses of which he was in charge 
being appropriated, although fresh animals were fur- 
nished through the kindness of Mr Murphy. 
Throughout his career he always appeared in the 
role of peacemaker, never seeking a quarrel, though 
the last man to yield when one was forced on him. 
At this period parties of Indians constantly visited 
the rancho, where they would fish in the lakes and 
streams, hold their war-dances, and seek employment 
during harvest ; but by none was he ever molested, 
his firm yet kindl}^ treatment winning their respect 
and latitude. 

On this farm was also established, in 1846, the first 
school ever organized in the Sacramento valley. The 
first schoolmaster was named Patrick O'Brien, and 
Avas engaged by Mr Murphy. By him the Murphy 
children were taught for a number of years. It ap- 
pears that, although an educated man, he had en- 
listed in the army while in reduced circumstances, 
had come to California in Fremont's party, and had 
then probabl}^ deserted. One day while he was en- 
gaged in teaching. Lieutenant Sherman arrived at 
the farm, and arrested him for desertion. He was, 
however, finally released. The later history of this 
pioneer schoolmaster is unknown. He left the local- 


ity ill 1849 for the mines, and no news was ever after- 
ward received from him. 

Five sons and three daugjhters were born to Mar- 
tin Murphy junior, namely, James, Martin, Patrick 
W., Bernard D., James, Ehzabeth Yuba, Mary Ann, 
and Ellen. 

In 1 849 the Sacramento valley was flooded with 
gold-hunters, and the value of stock rose greatly, so 
that Mr Murphy was able to dispose of his place, 
with 3000 head of stock for a large sum of money, 
reserving 640 acres, including his homestead, which 
were afterward sold for a small price, being covered 
with minino^ debris. 

In the same year he purchased the rancho Pastoria 
de las Borregas, in Santa Clara county, near Moun- 
tain View, some ten miles northwest of San Jose, and 
now known as Bay View farm. Through it runs the 
Southern Pacific railroad, one of its stations being 
named after the owner of the place. Even at this 
time San Jose consisted of only a cluster of twenty 
or thirty adobe houses, and in all the w4de valley of 
Santa Clara there was not a single edifice of wood or 
brick. To Mr Murphy is due the credit of erecting 
the first frame building in this section of the state, 
his dwelling being built in Boston, and shipped in 
sections to San Francisco by way of Cape Horn. 
With a carpenter named Dawson a contract was 
made to put it together in return for 500 acres of the 
land ; and of this land his widow is still possessed, its 
present value being at least $300 an acre. 

When Mr Murphy first occupied his Pastoria 
rancho in the spring of 1849, the entire valley of 
Santa Clara, with its rank growth of wild mustard, 
looked like a widespread cloth of gold. As yet there 
was little cultivation. At first, therefore, the tract 
was used mainly for stock-raising, though hay and 
grain were produced in considerable quantities ; in 
later years, however, as the country filled up with 
settlers, and the land became too valuable for the 


former industry, the entire area was planted in cere- 
als. The high prices then prevailing for grain and 
stock, united to able and enero;etic manaiienicnt, in- 
sured a handsome revenue, the surplus of which was 
mainly invested in real estate. In Santa Clara county 
Mr Murphy became the owner of two other ranchos, 
including together some 10,000 acres, and of valuable 
property in San Jose, consisting of the Jefferson and 
Washington blocks, and the Murphy block on the 
corner of Market and Santa Clara streets. In San 
Luis Obispo county he purchased the Santa Marga- 
rita, Asuncion, and Atascadero ranchos, comprising 
in all 70,000 acres, including Point Conception, which 
was afterward sold to the government for lighthouse 
purposes. A portion of the property in San Fran- 
cisco was purchased from his father, in order that the 
money might be equally divided among his children ; 
although to each of his sons, as they grew to manhood, 
the older Murphy had given sufficient property to 
enable them to start in life, retaining only enough to 
support himself in his simple mode of life. At the 
tune this purchase was proposed to him, the younger 
Murphy at first objected, on the ground that his 
brothers and sisters might consider the price insuf- 
ficient ; whereupon his father, turning to Judge Ry- 
land, who was then drawing up his will, exclaimed : 
*' Is it possible that I have raised up a son who will 
disregard a djang request?" It is almost unnecessary 
to state that the objection was withdrawn to the sat- 
isfaction of all the members of the family. 

In the early days the large landholders were all 
greatly troubled by the claims of squatters. The 
American immigrants, coming as they did for the 
most part from states where there was public land in 
plenty, were inclined to look upon the great ranchos 
they found here of thirty, forty, or a hundred thou- 
sand acres, as rightfully public domain also. Where 
private interest led the way, it was a very easy step 
for them to convince themselves that they had some 


kind of divine right to the land, and that such great 
holding^s were more than one man had a riijht to. 
With the greatly abused native inhabitants of the 
country, their method was short and easy. Greasers, 
even if they were the native dwellers on the soil, 
might well be thankful to be allowed even to exist. 
They w^ere even then an obstruction to the advance- 
ment of the state, and of the great American nation. 
Their lands were seized without scruple ; and be- 
tween the claims of these banditti of whom the 
country has little reason to be proud, and the con- 
tingent fees of the attorneys who defended the own- 
ers' rights, Spanish Californians were largely fleeced 
out of lands and homes. Even the American land- 
holders, as well as the Swiss, Sutter, had for many 
years a hard fight with the squatters, although in the 
end the validity of the Spanish and Mexican grants 
was confirmed by congress. In no place w^ere the 
squatters more audacious than in the vicinity of Sac- 
ramento, where they were led by Charles Robinson, 
a man of considerable ability, who afterward became 
governor of Kansas. 

For years Mr Murphy was troubled with the 
claims of these men, who continued from time to 
time to come and settle on his Pastoria rancho. The 
method Mr Murphy employed with them was char- 
acteristic of him and of the spirit of the Murphy fam- 
ily as a whole. When he heard of squatters locating 
on his tract he would go over and have a quiet talk 
with them, telling them that it was a Spanish grant, 
that he possessed the patent for it, and that they 
would surely lose both their time and their opportu- 
nity for acquiring real public land, and in the end 
would come out with nothing ; they could go and 
consult with any competent attorney, and they would 
find it to be so. Generally after this they would 
conclude to give up their claim of their own accord. 
If they had made improvements, Mr Murphy made 
them adequate compensation upon their retiring from 


the place. In some cases, where the squatters were 
more persistent, it was necessary to contest their 
claims in court ; but this was never done in a bitter 
spirit ; and pleasant personal relations were at the 
same tims maintained with them. In many cases of 
this kind where the intruders were, through their 
litigation, pinched for the necessaries of life, Mrs 
Murphy extended to them a charity as Christian as 
it was unusual, supplying them with provisions and 
clothing, and ministering to the necessities of their 
famiUes ; until a sense of shame induced them at last 
to abandon their pretensions. 

I mention this matter somewhat in detail, not only 
for the reason that it was, as I have said, characteristic, 
of the whole tone of the Murphy s' dealings with their 
neighbors, but because it is peculiarly noteworthy as 
an almost solitary example of its kind. Too many 
bitter animosities have been aroused, too many dark 
tragedies have been caused by following the opposite 
course. Nothing of this kind ever happened in the 
case of the Murphys. By following the course they 
did, all hostilities between the land-owner and the 
squatter were avoided, and no bitter spirit was ever 
manifested, or ever existed. 

Notwithstanding his broad possessions, Mr Mur- 
phy could not be induced to leave his home at Bay 
View farm, and here were passed most of the remain- 
ing years of his useful and beneficent life. Through- 
out the county, and indeed throughout the state, he 
was widely known, like his father, for his charity and 
hospitality. From his house no traveller was sent 
empty away, and to those who asked, employment 
was given, for which they received pay in money, 
even thouirh the task were a needless one. For well- 
nigh forty years the house has thus been kept open 
by Mr Murphy and his descendants ; but during all 
this time not the slightest loss has been incurred by 
theft or incendiarism. 

Though simple in his habits, living on the plainest 


food and avoiding all excess, using neither tobacco 
nor strong drink until after his fortieth year, and 
then only as a concession to social customs, Mr Mur- 
phy's entertainments were on a liberal scale. Never 
had Santa Clara county witnessed such festivities as 
those which marked the celebration of his golden 
wedding on the 18th of July 1881, and never did 
her citizens join more heartilj^ in doing honor to one 
who had been so long identified with the progress 
and welfare of the state. 

As the day approached, it was found impossible to 
issue invitations to all of their friends, and a general 
invitation was therefore published in the newspapers, 
but with the express condition that no presents 
should be offered by any of the guests. The spot 
selected was the beautiful oak grove which surrounds 
Murphy's station on the Southern Pacific, a few rods 
distant from their residence. Here, before noon, 
were gathered some four thousand people, and later 
the number was increased to fully ten thousand. 
Special trains from San Francisco and San Jose had 
been chartered by the host ; and from all the country 
round hundreds came in carriages and on horseback 
to offer their couQ-ratulations. Bands of music were in 
attendance, and a spacious dancmg pavilion was 
erected, at one end of which, under a canopy of flags, 
wreathed with flowers and eversfreens, the bride and 
bridegroom received their guests. Above them were 
suspended clusters of white flowers, in the shape of 
a marriage-bell, on the surface of which were dis- 
played in scarlet figures the dates 1831 and 1881 ; 
while rare and costly floral decorations, presented by 
their children, had been prepared for the bridal feast. 

Tables had been spread in the shade of the oak 
grove, and near them barbecued meats of all descrip- 
tions gave forth inviting odors. For the banquet 
there had been prepared seven large beeves, ten hogs, 
and fourteen sheep, with wagon loads of game, poul- 
try, and hams. The wine cellars had been filled with 

C. B. III. 4 


the choicest of foreign and domestic vintages, includ- 
ing a car-load of champagne ; while for those who 
preferred lighter beverages, there were provided 
fifteen barrels of ale and beer, and five hundred gal- 
lons of coffee. 

At the conclusion of the repast the health of the 
venerable pair was proposed, and among those who 
responded to the various toasts were Peter Donahue, 
P. W. Murphy, William M. Gwinn, and others. 
Then was read by a grandchild of Mrs Murph}^ a 
poem from the pen of Miss M. Fitzgerald, entitled 
"Congratulatory Address to Mr and Mrs Martin 
Murphy, on the Fiftieth Anniversary of their Bridal 
Day, July 18, 1881." The following is the opening 
stanza : 

" Shine, O golden light of summer, 

Over hill and vale to-day ; 
Breezes bring the sweetest fragrance 

From the blossoms round your way; 
And ye green and leafy woodlauds, 

Fling your waving shadows wide, 
As we bring our joyous greeting 

To the bridegroom and the bride." 

This was followed by an original poem by James 
T. Murphy, and one by a sister at the college of 
Notre Dame at San Jose, who was Mr Murphy's 
niece, both of them dedicated to the groom and bride. 
On being called upon for a speech, C. T. Ryland, 
vice-president of the Commercial and Savings bank 
of San Jose, alluded in the course of it to Mrs Mur- 
phy, and to the honored and beneficent position she 
had filled during all these years as the mistress of 
the Murphy household, concluding with these words: 
''Here is happiness, health, and wealth to her, with 
the hope that she may live to enjoy it up to and 
beyond the day of her diamond wedding ; and when 
the end does come, may she receive the reward which 
I know is waiting this noble mother in Israel." To 
this sentiment all the assemblage responded by rising 
to their feet, and standing with uncovered heads. 

As the day wore on the gathering increased. At 


noon the board of supervisors at San Jose, and the 
superior court, though trying an important case, ad- 
journed their sessions; bench, bar, and jury uniting 
to do honor to the occasion. Among the prominent 
features of the entertainment was the laro-e number 
of pioneers, and other men of note, who assembled to 
join in the festivities. Many of them gathered in 
groups, recounting the incidents of their early careers, 
or wandered amid the shady avenues admiring the 
beauty of the park-like grounds, and the preparations 
made for the occasion. Far into the night mul- 
titudes lingered among the illuminated groves ; for 
the scene was one of surpassing loveliness, one that 
has never before or since been witnessed in California, 
and one that will long be remembered among the 
most pleasing episodes in the annals of the golden 

In religion, Mr Murphy was a strict and devout 
catholic, as was his father before him, firmly devoted 
to his church, and contributing with no sparing hand 
to its support. To Archbishop Alemany, who alwaj's 
accepted his hospitality when visiting the neighbor- 
hood, he intrusted large donations for this purpose ; 
and mainly through his financial support the bishop 
was enabled to reorganize, in 1850, the church at 
Santa Clara, appointing new priests, and repairing 
the mission buildings which were already falling into 
decay. In the observance of his religious duties he 
was noted for his unfailing regularity. On Sunday 
he never omitted, except through sickness, his attend- 
ance at divine service ; while night and morning, 
every day in the week, family worship was held, at 
which all the members of the household were required 
to be present. 

To his aid and advice is also due the founding of 
Santa Clara college, and of the convent of Notre 
Dame. Acting on his suggestion, the bishop sum- 
moned for the former purpose Father Noble, who for 
many years had labored as a missionary among the 


Indians of Oregon, and who was appointed the first 
president of the college. It was not until after a 
severe and protracted struggle that this institution, 
which now ranks as the foremost catholic college in 
the state, was fairly established. Its first pupils 
were the sons of Mr Murphy, all of whom were 
graduates of Santa Clara, as were his daughters of 
Notre Dame. To the sisters who founded this con- 
vent he furnished the means wherewith to purchase 
the site which it now occupies at San Jose. 

In politics Mr Murphy was a democrat, and one 
who, though he never sought or would indeed accept 
office, was an active member of his party, unflinching 
in his adherence and liberal in its support. 

To the policy of the English government toward 
Ireland he was strongly opposed. As an illustration 
of his opinions on this subject may be mentioned an 
incident which occurred in 1881, when the "no rent" 
agitation first began to assume a threatening aspect. 
In that year a member of the British parliament, 
T. P. Healy, came to San Jose for the purpose of 
giving a lecture in the interests of the no rent party. 
The mayor of the city, Bernard D. Murphy, was re- 
quested to preside ; but before giving his consent he 
souQjht his father's advice, suofOfestinq- that if the 
party succeeded in Ireland they might attempt such 
measures here, and in that case American tenants 
might resort to violence in order to reduce the rents 
which they paid their landlords. As the father was 
a man possessed of broad acres, and with many ten- 
ants, could he or his son afford to sympathize with 
the claims of the Irish party ? " You go back and 
preside," said his father ; " when landlords in America 
become like the landlords in Ireland, the sooner the 
people are rid of them the better." With this senti- 
ment the younger members of the family concurred ; 
for thouojli admittinof the greatness of Eng;;land, and 
the great part she has played in spreading civiliza- 
tion throughout the world, they cannot recognize the 


justice of treating an integral part of the British 
nation with a degree of severity which one of iier 
own colonies would resent. 

As a business man Mr Murphy was uniformly 
successful, though making haste slowly in the accu- 
mulation of his estate. He was ever careful not to 
go beyond his depth, and although the owner of 
90,000 acres of land, only 3,000 were farmed in any 
one year, and not more than 10,000 cattle, with per- 
haps 500 horses, were pastured on the remainder. 
Before concluding a bargain, he would carefully con- 
sider all its aspects ; and when he had spare funds at 
command, would compute the interest the money 
should earn, the return it would yield if invested in 
lands or cattle, and then arrive at a decision which 
the result never failed to justify. Among his neigh- 
bors, and among those who had dealings with him, 
he was noted for the soundness of his judgment, and 
the force and acumen which he displayed in the dis- 
cussion of all business transactions. By some his 
method may have been considered somewhat old- 
fashioned ; but perhaps a little more of this method 
would benefit some of the Californians of to-day. 

In physique Mr Murphy was rather tall, erect and 
soldier-like in bearing, hale, robust, and with a com- 
pact and well-proportioned frame, well fitted for the 
toils and hardships of his earlier career. Care sat 
lightly on this sturdy and vigorous pioneer, whose 
lio;ht-brown locks even at threescore and ten were 
unsilvered by the frosts of time. On his expressive 
features, his spacious forehead, and especially in his 
clear gray eye, filled with light and intelligence, were 
stamped the highest attributes of manhood. Of his 
benevolence, his largeness of heart, and his overflow- 
ing charity, many incidents have been cited. None 
were held in more esteem, or enjoyed more fully the 
respect and confidence of the community. Though 
rigid in the observance of his religious duties, and in 
the highest sense a moral man, he was never austere, 


and could join in the games and amusements of his 
children, enjoying their simple pleasures and pastimes 
as one of themselves. Not least among his traits of 
character were his self-reliance and courage, which 
never failed him in the most trying moment, carrying 
him safely through every trial and difficulty, to the 
bourne whither he would be. *' O friend," says 
Emerson, ''never strike sail to fear. Come into port 
greatly, or sail with God the seas. Not in vain you 
live, for every passing eye is cheered and refined by 
the vision." 

Soon after the celebration of their golden wedding, 
Mr and Mrs Murphy removed to their residence in 
San Jose, where were passed the few remaining years 
allotted to the former. When it became evident that 
his span of life was drawing to a close, he joined with 
his wife in executing a deed conveying to his children 
in equal shares their entire property, designating 
the estates which each one should occupy, and i^e- 
serving for themselves only a life interest in the rents 
and profits. Thus were avoided the expense of pro- 
bate and partition, and the possibility of future liti- 

On the 20th of October 1884, having then almost 
completed his seventy-eighth year, he passed quietly 
and almost painlessly to his rest, mourned not only 
by his family and his intimate friends, but by thou- 
sands who only a few years before had assembled to 
Qfra.ce his wedding: festival. Amons those who were 
present at his obsequies were many pioneers and 
leading citizens from all portions of the state, while 
throughout the city the marts of commerce were 
closed, and flags at half-mast betokened widespread 
sympathy and esteem for one whose memory none 
could forget to honor. 

His wife in 1891 was still residing at the Bay 
View farm, being then in her eighty-sixth year. In 
many traits of character she resembled her husband, 
particularly in her energy and resolution, her excel- 


lent judgment, her economy, the strict simpHcity of 
her habits, and her unswerving honesty, which, in 
the opinion of her neighbors, she carried ahnost to an 
extreme. If a baro-ain were made, she insisted that 
the purchaser should first know everything in con- 
nection with it, even tliough it should be to her own 
disadvantage. No transaction of importance was 
ever concluded without her approval. A devout 
catholic, and with deep religious feeling, she believed 
that everything was ordered by an all -wise provi- 
dence. During her latter years she was tended by her 
daughter, Mrs Arques, and, in the midst of her chil- 
dren and grandchildren, was surrounded by every 
comfort and gratification that loving hands could 

Before concluding this history of the Murphy 
family it will be of interest to take a glance at the 
career of the other children of Martin Murphy 
senior, all of whom played prominent parts in the 
founding and development of the state. 

James Murphy, the second son, was born at the 
famil}^ home in Wexford, Ireland, September 19, 
1809, and at the time that he removed with his 
father to Canada w^as eleven years old. Being a 
bright, active boy, with stout frame, he was able to 
assist his father greatly in establishing the new home. 
As he advanced toward manhood he ens^ag^ed in the 
lumber trade, and at the agje of tw^entv-four vears 
made a journey to Maine in connection with this pur- 
suit. For nine years he was in business for himself 
in Canada, and during this period married Miss Ann 
Martin, whose parents had come from Ireland in 
1829 and settled near the Murphy s. From this mar- 
riag^e two children were born in Canada, the first a 
son named Martin, who died before the family re- 
moved to California, and the other a daughter, IMary, 
who afterward married B. S. Machado, of Gilroy. 
With his brother Martin he followed his father to 
Missouri in 1842, and engaged in the lumber business 


in St. Joseph for a short time before the final re- 
moval of the family to California. After his arrival 
there he settled for a time in Marin county, and 
furnished the lumber for the Leidesdorff wharf, the 
first wharf built in San Francisco. In 1849, owino- 
to the scarcity of laborers for his lumberyard, he was 
forced to suspend his business, and finally himself 
went to the gold fields. He did but little mining, 
liowever, and shortly afterward went to Santa Clara 
county and purchased, with Ins brother Daniel, the 
rancho de las Llagas, in the vicinity of Gilroy. Later 
he purchased several of the famous five-hundred-dol- 
lar lots north of San Jose, and built a residence on 
the property for his family. In 1872 he erected a 
house at a cost of $40,000, and planted one of the 
earliest olive orchards. Besides the tw^o children al- 
rea.dy memtioned, the following were born in Cali- 
fornia: Martin D., born February 6, 1845, at Sutter's 
fort ; Helen E., born at Corte Madera, December 18, 
1847 ; William B., born August 21, 1850, at Ring- 
wood farm ; Elizabeth A., born July 8, 1853; Julia 
A., born January 6, 1855 ; Helen, born April 18, 
1860, who died in infancy ; Daniel J., born April 25, 

Mr Murphy was prosperous in his agricultural and 
horticultural undertakings, and at his death, which 
took place January 13, 1878, left property valued at 

Bernard Murphy, the third son of Martin Murphy 
senior, was born at Frampton, Canada, in 1822, and 
after comino" to California in 1844 with his father, 
lived with him on the St Martin rancho for a number 
of years. He married Catherine O'Toole, and had 
one son, Martin J, C. Murphy. He was killed in 
1853, in the explosion of the steamer Jenny Lind. 
His widow afterward married James Dunne. His 
son, a young man of higli promise, died at Washing- 
ton, in the midst of his studies, in 1872. 

John M. Murphy, the fourth son of Martin INIur- 


phy, was born in Frampton in 1824, and was eigh- 
teen years old at the time of the overland journey. 
After reaching California he took part in the Alichel- 
torena enibroglio, as already narrated, and after his 
capture at San Buenaventura, and subsequent re- 
lease, accompanied Michel torena to Cahuenga, and 
witnessed the battle at that place. During the battle 
he was stationed quite near the general. Michel- 
torena, he relates, had chosen an elevated spot from 
which he surveyed the movements of the enemy 
through a field glass. A cannonier upon the insur- 
gent side, a large negro, who was stationed in a gulch 
opposite them, had, it appears, located the party with 
considerable accuracy, and as Micheltorena stood 
there, erect and statuesque, the grape shot would 
come whizzing through the air in such uncomfortable 
proximity that he was constantly compelled to duck 
his head. 

Soon after his father settled near San Jose, John 
entered the store of his future brother-in-law, Charles 
M. Weber, in that town. In 1848 he went to the 
placer mines in company with his brother Daniel and 
Dr Isabel, of Ohio, a partner of Captain Weber. 
The party first camped on Sutter creek, which over- 
looked the present site of Placerville. Tliere were no 
other white people in this region then, and tliey 
employed the natives to work in the mines. From 
Sutter creek they moved their camp down on the 
Stanislaus river, and built a log house. There were 
rich diggings all about the neighborhood, and the 
party obtained a considerable amount of gold. It was 
said that John Murphy had at one time more gold 
dust than any man in California. Upon one occasion 
he brought a mule into San Jose from Calaveras 
loaded with 350 pounds of dust, about as much as 
could well be packed on the animal. 

As a 3^oung man he was widely known in Califor- 
nia as one of the handsomest, gayest, and most fortun- 
ate youths in the state, and was a favorite every- 


where. In 1850 he n^arried Virginia Reed, who with 
her father and other members of the family crossed 
the plains in the Donner party, and furnished the 
most authentic material for the history of that sad 

Mr Murphy resided for the most part in San Jose 
since 1850, although he has spent some time in Ne- 
vada and in Los Angeles. In 1850 he was elected 
county treasurer of Santa Clara, in 1852 city recorder 
of San Jose, mayor in 1855, in 1857 sheriff, and re- 
elected in 1859. Since that time he has taken no 
active part in political matters. Six of his nine 
children were living in 1891, namely: John M., 
Daniel R., S. Stanley, Mary Margaret, Virghiia F., 
and Ada J. 

Daniel Murphy, the son of Martin Murphy senior, 
was born in Canada, and upon coming to California at 
first settled with his father near San Jose. Later, 
with his brother Bernard, he purchased other lands, 
and owned large estates in California and Nevada, 
besides a rancho in the state of Durango, Mexico, con- 
sisting; of a milhon and a half of acres, in which was 
the celebrated mountain of matjnetic iron first de- 
scribed by Humboldt. He devoted his attention 
chiefly to cattle-raising, and possessed many herds 
each thousands of head in number. He died October 
22, 1882, and left two children, Daniel M., and 

Mary Murphy, the daughter of Martin Murphy 
senior, was born in Ireland, and after accompany- 
ing her brother Martin to Canada in 1828, went to 
her father's place at Frampton, where she lived 
until her marriage a few years later to James Mil- 
ler. The latter was also a native of Wexford, and 
came to Canada with his parents the same year as 
did his future w4fe, settling near the Murphy s at 
Frampton. After their marriage in September 1834, 
Mr and Mrs Miller continued to live at Frampton 
until 1841, wlien they accompanied the elder Murphy 


to Missouri. Tliere the}^ engaged in farming until 
the departure ot" the Murphy family for California in 
1844, when, with their four children, the}^ set out 
with them. The Millers went to San Eafael, where 
they arrived April 6, 1845. The next year Mr Mil- 
ler bought 680 acres of land on the Gallinas giant, 
the deed being the first recorded iu the count}'. He 
built first a large adobe, and afterward a house of still 
more pretentious proportions. In 1849 he drove 150 
head of cattle to the placer mines, and sold them 
there at the rate of a dollar a pound. Besides a large 
dairy on his home estate Mr Miller has some 8,000 
acres of land in various parts of the county. There 
were ten children : William J., Kate, Mary, Martin, 
Ellen Independence, Julia, Francis, Therese, Bernard, 
and Josephine. 

Ellen Murphy, a younger daughter of Martin 
Murphy, was born at Frampton, and was still 
quite a girl when she crossed the plains with her 
father. After livingr several years at his place near 
San Jose, durinsf which time her enojaoino- manners 
won her many admirers, some of whom have since at- 
tained national distinction, she was married, in 1850, 
to Charles M. Weber, a Bavarian, who came to Amer- 
ica, in 1836, and after taking part in the Texan hostil- 
ities, went to New Orleans and afterward to St 
Louis. From the last mentioned city he set out for 
California, in 1841. He settled in San Jose, and 
became one of the most prominent of the early Cali- 
fornian merchants, being looked upon as the leading 
man of the pueblo of San Jose. His was the first 
store established in that town ; and he also held a 
large grant of land from the Mexican government. 
After the acquisition of California by the United 
States, in which he took a prominent part on the 
American side, he went to the San Joaquin valley, 
and became one of the founders of Stockton. It was 
at this time that he married Miss Murphy, whose 
acquaintance he had made some years before in San 


Jose. By her he had three children : Charles M. 
Weber junior, born September 22, 1851, Thomas J., 
and Julia H. At his death. May 4, 1881, at Stockton, 
business was suspended, and the public offices were 
closed. His wife was still living in 1891. 

Johanna, another daughter of the elder Murphy, 
likewise born at Frampton, did not come out to Cali- 
fornia until a few years after the overland party of 
1844. She married John Fitzgerald, a landed pro- 
prietor near Gilroy, and had two sons, James and 
John, and three daughters, Marcella, Anne, and 
Mary. All three daughters have obtained not a lit- 
tle celebrity as writers of verse, and one of them has 
published a volume of poems. 

And now. havinn; followed the incidents of this 
patriarchal history to its close, let us take a brief 
glance backward at some of its more salient points. 
Perhaps the most noteworthy feature in the narrative 
is the fact that this family, — after having crossed the 
plains without hostile encounter with the savage 
tribes, without loss of life, or serious loss of property 
— settled themselves in the land with their horses 
and wagons and cattle, treated everyone with fair- 
ness, both Mexican and American, and by this exam- 
ple favorably impressed themselves, as representatives 
of the American nation, not only upon the native in- 
habitants of the land, but upon the whole community. 
It was said that to reach the house of a Murphy was 
to be sure of a hospitable reception, and to deal with 
one of them was to be certain of fair treatment. It 
is to those who have opened up new counties or new 
paths of opportunity to men, who have laid the 
foundations for true social growth, that most credit 
is due. Among such influences none can be reckoned 
higher than the example of whose lives are here 
written, who came from a far country to a new land, 
where they established themselves in peace; and, like 
Abraham and his sons, walked justly before God and 
man, prospered in all things, and became possessed of 


flocks and herds, and wide domains, living to a good 
old age, surrounded by their children and their chil- 
dren's children. 


Aztec Farmers— Chin ampa or Floating Gardens — Chief Products of 


Maguey^Pulque — Origin of Agriculture — The Gods in Council 
— Maya Civilization — Indigenous Products — Corn, Cacao, Beans, 
Pepper, and Cotton — Aboriginal Land Tenure — Plantations of 
THE Conquerors — Introduction of Sugar Cane and Wheat — Plan- 
tains, Silk, Olives, Grapes, and Tobacco — Coffee, Vanilla, 
Cochineal, Indigo, and Jalap — Livestock — Climatic Zones — Cen- 
tral American Products. 

According to Aztec tradition the most ancient and 
civilized dwellers iti the Mexican valley, the Olmecs 
r.nd Xicalancas, were tillers of the soil ; and it may 
be said that among the ancestors of the several nations 
which occupied the country, agriculture was the chief 
resource fur providing themselves with life-sustaining 
staples. To the Toltecs has been ascribed by many 
the introduction of this most useful and civilizing art. 
Contemporaneous with them, however, were other 
nations, less advanced in civilization, especially in the 
northern region, and who still subsisted by the chase 
and by gathering wild fruits, roots, and herbs. 

The Aztecs from the earliest days of their history 
were farmers and corn-eaters. During the first years 
after coming to Anahuac valley, when they were 
pent up on the small islands of the lakes, agricultural 
pursuits seemed impossible ; but a happy invention 
supplied the deficiency, while aw^akening, with increase 
of numbers, an ambition to possess a larger area. 
The necessity of providing food was doubtless the 
main cause which impelled this people to enter upon 
a career of conquest on the mainland. The Chinam- 



pas, or floating gardens, were an evidence of their 
ingenuity, as well as of the straits to which they were 
' reduced Presently maize, chile, beans, and other 
products were grown on them, and the larger ones 
bore fruit and shade trees, together with a hut on 
each for the man in charge. These gardens continued 
in use till modern times ; but as the waters of the 
lakes receded from their former bounds, it became 
necessary to secure them to the shore. They are 
separated from one another by narrow canals, through 
which their produce is carried to market in canoes. 
In recent times the chinarapas have been used only 
for raisino; vesfetables and flowers. 

When the population of the valley grew dense, the 
work of providing food became paramount. Almost 
every spot of fertile soil, both in valley and highland, 
was devoted to that end. Agriculture was an honora- 
ble vocation, in which all took part except the kinor 
and nobility, and soldiers when in active service. 
Nevertheless, each province raised only food sufficient 
for its own needs, and if through drought or other 
causes crops were destroyed, starvation stared the 
inhabitants in the face, and before relief could come 
to them they were decimated, or sometimes almost 
annihilated b}'' the epidemics closely following upon 

Little definite information has reached us as to the 
methods of tillage among the Nahuas, except in the 
raisin oj of maize, or Indian corn. The vallevs were 
the favorite localities for cornfields, though the high- 
lands were also made to yield this valuable staple. 
The plant is represented as strong in growth, and 
yielding abundantly, though ashes seem to have been 
the only fertilizer. 

The Aztecs had no working animals, and their 
agricultural implements were few and simple. The 
coatl (serpent), so-called from its shape, was made of 
copper, and used somewhat as is a hoe by the modem 
farmer. Another copper implement was a sickle, 


with a wooden handle, employed in pruning trees. 
A simple sharp stick, with the point hardened by fire, 
or occasionally tipped with copper, was all that the 
poorer tillers of the soil possessed. Granaries were 
built for storing corn, some of them of the capacity of 
several thousand bushels. 

In studying the calendar of the Aztecs we find that 
the cultivation of corn had much influence on its 
development, besides a close connection with their 
religious rites. There was a maize-god, to whom was 
offered with the utmost solemnity, on a certain day, 
the fairest and best-filled ear, which was preserved, 
wrapped in white cotton cloth, till the next seed-time, 
and then, w^rapped in deerskins, was buried in the 
midst of the cornfields. When harvest came, its 
shrivelled remnants were distributed among the cred- 
ulous populace as a talisman against every possible 
evil. The Aztecs also cultivated medicinal herbs and 
flowers. The latter were much appreciated, and pro- 
fusely used at secular and religious festivals, and also 
for the decoration of temples. 

The maguey plant was carefully attended to. From 
its juice was manufactured pulque, called by the 
Aztecs octli. Tradition gives us several versions 
of the rise of pulque, the most poetical one being 
that it was discovered by a beautiful maiden, named 
Xochitl, who brought some of it to Huemac, eighth 
king of the Toltecs. The monarch fell in love with 
Xochitl, and had a son by her, and after the queen's 
death she became his wife; and their son, Meconetzin, 
was the next occupant of the throne, and an excellent 
ruler. In a pure state the fermented juice of the 
maguey is wholesome, and less intoxicating than 
grape wine ; but the natives mix with it certain herbs 
which increase its intoxicating properties, and thus it 
becomes a baneful element, which by its abuse has 
lured millions to destruction. The practice of adul- 
teration was continued under the rule of the Spaniards 
although prohibited. 


Among the wild tribes of Central Mexico agricul- 
ture wa,s known. Corn, beans, tomatoes, chile, and 
a variety of fruits were cultivated. The natives of 
Vera Cruz and Tamaulipas gathered large quantities 
of the pitahaya by means of an osier basket attached 
to a long pole. The Otomis and tribes of Jalisco cul- 
tivated but little grain. Other tribes inhabiting the 
valley of Mexico, Puebla, Michoacan, and Queretaro 
showed a crreater inclination to till the soil, livinor 
almost wholly on the products of their own industry. 
From the earliest times of which any records exist 
the natives of Oajaca and the isthmus of Teliuan tepee 
raised corn and vegetables, as well as cacao. 

In the region of the Usumacinta, on the confines of 
Yucatan, Guatemala, Chiapas, and Tabasco, which 
have as good claims as any other locality to be looked 
upon as the cradle of American civilization, supernat- 
ural beings took counsel together, according to an 
ancient tradition, to reclaim from barbarism the native 
savages, or human beasts, who roamed naked over 
the land, and subsisted on the roots and wild fruits 
of the forests. This story involves the origin of their 
agriculture, and the introduction of maize as a food 
plant. In the land of Paxil or Cayala, overflowing 
with nutritious food, those superior beings found white 
and yellow corn, cacao, zapotes, and many other fruits. 
They ground the corn, and nine kinds of drink were 
made from it, which served to give man strength, 
flesh, and stature. Through this means the savages 
were brought under subjection, and an era of civiliza- 
tion was inaugurated. Indeed, tradition had it that 
only yellow maize and white maize entered into the 
formation of the four men who were the first fathers 
of the Maya nations. From that time down to the 
Spanish conquest maize in its several varieties was 
cultivated by the Mayas, and was their chief reliance, 
as it was of the Nahuas, for their daily sustenance. 

Every year, from March to May, the Maya farmer 
prepared his soil by cutting or uprooting the dense 
c. n.-iii. 5 


undergrowth, wliicli he afterward burned, and in the 
ashes — the only fertiUzer used — after the first rain 
fell, he made holes at regular intervals, and in each 
deposited five or six grains, covering them with the 
same sharpened stick that he had used to make the 

In Yucatan the farmers formed themselves into 
bands of twenty for mutual assistance until all their 
land was seeded. Different localities were chosen by 
the several members, in order to guard against a pos- 
sible loss of crops from local causes. The Lacandones 
protected their cornfields with hedges, fences, and 
ditches, and boys watched them after the grain began 
to ripen. In Nicaragua, says Oviedo, agriculture was 
more advanced than anywhere else in Central Amer- 
ica. Birds were kept away from the grainfields, and 
irrigation was resorted to when the rains were back- 
ward ; thus were crops artificially forced, and well- 
filled corn was plucked forty days after the seed was 
sown. Far ditferent was the custom of the Itzas, 
who passed most of their time in worship, dancing, 
and drinking:, trusting to wild fruits and a fertile soil 
for their subsistence. The next crop in importance, 
that of cacao, was grown in hot and shady localities, 
and gathered from February to April. Beans, pepper, 
cotton, and numerous indigenous fruits were exten- 
sively cultivated, but of the methods employed we 
have no record. 

The Mayas had peculiar superstitions in connection 
with the planting and growth of crops. They under- 
stood not the simplest laws of nature, and recognized 
only supernatural agencies in the abundance or failure 
of their harvests. In Yucatan no meat was eaten 
while cotton was growing. The Nicaraguans abstained 
from intoxicating: beveraG:e and from cohabitation with 
thoir women during the time of planting. Bundles 
of sticks, leaves, stones, or cotton rags were placed at 
the corners of each field by the old women, for the 


propitiation of their gods. The Pipiles performed 
certain rehgious rites and burned copal and ulH over 
seed which they buried in the ground. Blood was 
drawn from different parts of the body, and the idol 
was anointed therewith. The blood of fowls was 
sprinkled over the land to be planted. In the culti- 
vation of cacao the finest seeds were exposed to the 
moonlight during four nights; and for some days pre- 
ceding seed-time men did not sleep with their wives 
or concubines, in order that the night before the 
planting they might fully indulge their passions. It 
has been even asserted that certain persons were 
appointed to perform the sexual act at the moment 
the first seeds were planted. Before beginning to 
weed, incense was burned at the four corners of the 
field, accompanied by fervent prayers to the gods. 
The first ears of ripened corn were offerings to the 
gods, the priests, and occasionally the poor. At har- 
vest time the corn was piled up in the field, and not 
moved until the grain itself gave signs that it was 
ready for removal, either by the springing up of a 
fresh blade, or the falling of an ear from the heap. 

In the Aztec empire land was held under a pecul- 
iarly judicious system. Though possession was given 
only temporarily, the land could, through prudent 
management on the part of the holder, be transmitted 
to his heirs. That which belonged exclusively to 
communities could not pass into other hands, but an 
industrious member had full scope given him to 
improve his portion, and derive every possible advan- 
tage from his labor. It would have been wise for 
the Spaniards to have continued this system, but they 
preferred that of the encomienda, and agriculture was 
carried on only where the work was done by enforced 
labor. Cortes caused plantations of maize and cacao 
to be established, and showed an inclination to develop 
agriculture in a country possessed of such a variety of 
climate, and where nearly all the food staples of 


Europe could be raised. Hence his success in 11 le 
introduction of foreign grains, plants, and livestock. 
The crown also had old laws remodelled, and new 
ones framed, and urged its representatives in the col- 
onies to promote the cultivation of the soil. New 
settlers were given land subject to the conditions of 
building a house, planting the ground within a certain 
time, and possessing a certain quantity of stock. Title 
vras legally acquired only after four years' occupation, 
though men swayed solely by selfishness cared but 
little for such regulations. 

Within fifty years, the royal ordinances to the con- 
trary notwithstanding, extensive tracts of the crown 
lands had been illegally appropriated. Steps were 
taken to stop abuses, but in the long run the tenants 
maintained their hold by the payment of a trifling 
amount into the royal treasury, and the restitution of 
land was made obligatory only when it had belonged 
to the Indians. Laws passed in early days for the 
preservation of forests were rendered nugatory by 
later ones making them free to all for CDmmon use, 
and allowing the Indians to cut wood without restric- 
tion. Hence, such a wholesale destruction of forests 
that toward the end of the eighteenth century Vice- 
roy Revilla Gigedo found it necessary to adopt restric- 
tive measures. 

Maize has continued to be the most important 
agricultural product both in Mexico and Central 
America, constituting the chief food staple, for many 
years after the conquest, even among the Spaniards, 
until the cultivation of European cereals became gen- 
eral. To the present time it is, with beans and chile, 
the almost exclusive food of the Indian population. 
Three, and even four, abundant crops are obtained 
annually in many districts, and the grain thrives in 
all parts of the country. The yield is often five hun- 
dred fold. Before the era of railways and other 
transportation facilities, a failure of the corn crop was 
usually equivalent to famine, as the inhabitants in 


their improvidence rarely provided for such a con- 
tingency. In the beginning of the present century 
the total annual yield of New Spain was 17,000,000 

It is on record that Cortes established two sugar- 
cane plantations, and that others soon followed his 
example, so that sugar, early in the second half of 
the sixteenth century, became an article of export to 
Spain and Peru. 

The maguey, or agave americana, called onctl in the 
Aztec, was almost as indispensable to the Mexican as 
maize, for it afforded him food, drink, raiment, aad 
covering for his hut, and possessed also medicinal 
qualities. Of octli, commonly known as pulque, I have 
already spoken. During the Spanish domination its 
sale was at times forbidden by law, with the view of 
diminishing intoxication and averting popular tumults, 
such as the great riot in Mexico of 1692. But the 
pulque monopoly being one of the great sources of 
revenue to the government, this consideration over- 
ruled all others. Its fraudulent manufacture, chiefly 
adulterated with noxious roots to increase its intoxi- 
cating power, assumed large proportions. So power- 
less were the measures decreed by the authorities to 
check illegal practices that the sale of pulque was no 
longer farmed out. Sugar of an inferior quality had 
been at one time made out of the maguey, but its 
manufacture was greatly decreased after the introduc- 
tion of the suo;ar-cane. In the second half of the 
eighteenth century the juice was used in the distilla- 
tion of the brandy called mezcal, but the Spanish gov- 
ernment checked this industry in order to protect the 
industries of the mother country. The same restric- 
tions were laid on agnardieyife, or rum made from sugar- 
cane juice, and it was only toward the end of the last 
century that these infamous restrictions were removed. 

Wheat was cultivated to a large extent by means 
of irrigation, cattle not being allowed to pasture on 


irrigated land suitable for growing wheat. The yield 
in places is as high as seventy and eighty fold, the 
average in New Spain being from twenty-five to thirty 
fold. A species of wheat, which went by the name of 
trigo blanquilla, was noted for its great yield. For 
some reason it was declared not wholesome, and 
ordinances were issued in 1677 against its cultivation, 
and enforced during many years, though more or 
less infringed. The prohibition was revoked in 1692, 
after 'w^hich it was freely cultivated. 

Another great food staple was the plantain. After 
its introduction from the East Indies it spread rapidly 
throughout tropical America, and became a valuable 
acquisition in New Spain and Central America. In 
many parts plantain and maize are the sole articles of 
food for the poorer classes, beiiig at the same time 
much used by the wealthy. Beans have ever been 
cultivated on a large scale. In Central America they 
are daily on the table of both rich and poor. 

Silk, olives, tobacco, and in later years coffee, have 
also been the object of especial attention. The culti- 
vation of grapes was discountenanced by the crown, 
because the manufacture of wine would have checked 
its import from the mother country, to whose inter- 
ests everything was subordinated. 

Rice yielding about forty-five fold, barley, rye, sev- 
eral varieties of beans, lentils, potatoes, sweet pota- 
toes, peas of various kinds, cumin and coriander seeds, 
are among the food productions. The cotton crop of 
Sinaloa in 1873 was 550,000 pounds; the cotton dis- 
trict of San Juan Evangelista yielded 1,342,104 pounds. 

Statistics show that in 1879 the production of pul- 
que amounted to $4,589,528, of mezcal $1,746,646, of 
heniqucn and ixtle, fibres from the maguey, $3,506,- 
053. Thus did maguey add to the national wealth in 
that year about $10,000,000. The surplus of the 
sugar crop at the beginning of the present century 
was 6,250 tons, valued at $1,500,000. During the 
war of independence it dwindled down to nothing; in 


1876 it began to revive, and in 1879 it was 70,000,- 
000 kilogrammes, worth $8,760,000. The rum dis- 
tilled from the molasses is worth $2,000,000 a year. 
The vine and the olive have been in a great meas- 
ure neglected ; but of late j'^ears protective laws 
have been enacted, and wine will ere long be one of 
the most valuable products of Mexico. The vineyard 
cultivated by the liberator Hidalgo at Dolores is of 
historical interest; from it were taken the cuttings 
wherewithal were formed the already famous vine- 
yards of Parras in Coahuila. Several states are well 
adapted for the cultivation of the grape, especially 
Sonora, Chihuahua, and Coahuila. The yield of wine 
in the whole republic in 1879 was valued at $2,662,- 
671, of which Chihuahua and Coahuila contributed 
more than $1,250,000. 

Recent measures for the development of cotton 
promise the best results. This culture figures at pres- 
ent in the fifth place among the products of Mexico, 
tho annual crop reaching 25,000,000 kilogrammes, 
valued at $6,000,000, which is too small to meet the 
demand. The colonial o-overnment labored in vain to 
encourage the cultivation of flax and hemp. Silk cul- 
ture was equally neglected till the republican era, but 
the government has in recent years adopted measures 
to promote it. The culture of cacao was largely 
decreased under colonial rule. It was subsequently 
revived for awhile in Tabasco, owing to the protection 
afforded by the government, and the crop rose from 
9,000 quintals in 1826 to 115,000 in 1860, valued at 
$2,876,000. But from that time a reaction began, 
and in 1879 the whole crop in Mexico was little more 
than 31,000 quintals, valued at $1,140,000, of which 
sum Tabasco contributed $880,000, The best cacao 
is produced in Soconusco, but the yield is small. The 
first coflTee estates of any importance were those in 
Cordoba and Orizaba, in 1818 and 1819, from which 
time its cultivation has extended from Tabasco, 


through Chiapas, Oajaca, Morelos, and Michoacan to 
CoHma. The coffee of Oajaca and Colima is of a 
superior quahty. The production of the berry has 
been on the increase. Judging by the exportation 
the crop of 1877-8 was worth $1,275,000. In 1883 
were exported 141,493 quintals, against 60,000 in 

Vanilla, cochineal, indigo, and jalap, together with 
other medicuial productions, contribute to materially 
increase the wealth of the Mexican republic. The 
production of vanilla is constantly increasing. The 
same may not be said of the other staples. 

Native tobacco was one of the great resources 
of the Mexican treasury in colonial times, yielding- 
through the old system of monopoly $4,000,000 a 
year. Its cultivation is quite general in the republic, 
but chiefly in Campeche, Tabasco, Vera Cruz, (3ajaca, 
and Jalisco. The value of the crop of 1879 was 
$2,006,153, and most of it was consumed in the 

Cattle breeding is one of the great industries of 
Mexico, especially in the central plateau and in the 
north. Neat cattle are raised in great numbers on 
the coast. Swine are found everywhere, and in 
Yucatan are exceedingly abundant. Horses and asses 
are plentiful, and the breeding of mules has been a 
necessity, for until recently they were almost the only 
means for the transportation of goods and merchan- 
dise. Efforts are constantly made to improve the 
breed of horses, but though with considerable power 
of endurance the Mexican horse has many imperfec- 
tions. Sheep are abundant, and wool is protected by 
the tariff, but the better quality and greater cheap- 
ness of foreign goods tends to check production. 

In 1851 the value of livestock in New Leon was 
$2,250,550; in 1872 it had decreased to less than 
$1,116,200, notwithstanding an advance in the price. 
The future of this industry in Mexico is very promis- 


ing. The quantity of livestock, including neat cattle, 
horses, asses, mules, sheep, goats, and swine, was 
estimated in 1870 at the following figures respectively: 
4,460,000, 2,500,000, 6,800,000, 4,600,000, and 6,200,- 
000, valued at ;^35, 680,000 for neat cattle, $25,000,- 
000 for horses, asses, and mules, $6,800,000 for sheep, 
$4,600,000 for goats, and $43,400,000 for swine. 

The three climatic zones of Mexico, the tierra fria, 
tierra templada, and tierra caliente, account for the 
great variety in the products of her agricultural sec- 
tions. To this must be added the inequality of the 
rainfall, the wet season lasting about six months in 
the south, four months in the plateaus, and being 
variable on portions of the Atlantic slope and in the 
warm regions. The plateaus sufter from drought, 
and more than half their area needs irrigation. 

There are serious drawbacks to the development of 
agriculture in Mexico, as the concentration of large 
tracts of land in a few hands, and the neglected con- 
dition of the tillers of the soil These evils will dis- 
appear, and, indeed, are already disappearing under 
the wise measures now in operation to elevate the 
laboring classes, abolishing peonage, and enforcing 
the subdivision of land by heavy taxes and other 
means. The larg-e landow^ners have hitherto been 
the dominant element, and proved themselves a draw- 
back to prosperity. They must, however, give wa}'- 
to the masses, and when the latter become owners of 
the soil agriculture will be among the most honorable 
of callings, and those engaged in it will exercise their 
rightful share in the government. 

There is hardly a remark made herein concerning 
Mexico that does not apply to Central America and 
the isthmus of Panama. The Spaniards found the 
inhabitants of the whole region to be cultivators of 
the soil, maize being their chief food, aside from game 
and fish. The natives made wines or liquors, both 


sweet and sour. One was obtained from a species of 
palm-tree ; another was the chicha made from maize, 
a highly intoxicating beverage. The first Spanish 
exiDlorers found large quantities of fermented liquors 
buried beneath the ground. It is said that King 
Conagre had large cellars filled with wine and cider. 

The Spaniards did not come to the Isthmus to till 
the soil, but to gather riches quickly and without 
labor. With a few exceptions they were little better 
than pirates; nor did their behavior improve in what 
was afterward the reino de Guatemala. They com- 
pelled the natives to work until they were on the 
point of death, and then turned them adrift to perish. 
And yet those men were the pioneers of civilization 
and of Christianity. Notwithstanding their misdeeds 
comnmnities were formed, grew up, and developed, 
and finally came to be what they are now, states hold- 
ing a respectable standing among the family of nations. 
Agriculture, neglected for years, was mainly the fac- 
tor which, in the face of internecine strife and frequent 
misgovernment, has elevated them to that position. 

In the early part of this century cattle were the 
mainstay of the Isthmus, and of all Central America. 
The great staple had been indigo, with an estimated 
valuation of $4,500,000 a year. Sugar and raspadura 
were also cultivated, and some tobacco was grown. 
The cacao plantations had ceased to exist, and the 
production of jiguilite, cochineal, and vanilla had 
largely declined. The yearly products of all Central 
America were estimated in 1826 at about $52,500,000. 
Notwithstanding some protective laws, the great facil- 
ities afforded by the opening of the Panamd railway 
in 1855, and the subsequent establishment of a line ot 
steamships on the coast, agriculture made no notable 
progress down to the end of the seventh decade of 
the present century. Though land was free to all, 
the yield barely sufficed for the needs of the popula- 
tion in Guatemala. The change in 1871 from a ret- 
rogressive system of government to a progressive one 


gave impulse to this important branch of industry. 
Cochineal was king in its way at one time, but was 
dethroned by newly discovered chemical substances. 
The government then promoted the cultivation of 
coffee, and this has come to be the chief product, tak- 
ing the place of cochineal in Antigua Guatemala, as 
did suo^ar in Amatitlan. Encourao-ement has been 
given to other products, such as wheat, tobacco, cin- 
chona, jiquilite, spices, and grapes, with good results 
in some and good prospects in others. The following 
figures exhibit the agricultural wealth of Guatemala. 
Cochineal, reduced from 67,709 quintals in 1860-4 to 
2,845 in 1879-83. Of coffee there was no crop in 
1860-4; in 1883-4 the yield was 495,385 quintals, 
and the next year was much larger, being valued at 
nearly $5,300,000. The production of sugar in 1860-4 
was 115,486 quintals; in 1883 the value of the prod- 
ucts from sugar-cane was nearly $1,000,000. Rubber 
in 1879-83, 9,074 quintals; sundries, 1879-83, 115,- 
999 quintals; flour in 1884, nearly 950,000 quintals. 
The cultivation of tobacco was making considerable 
progress. Livestock in 1884: horses, 107,187; mules 
and asses, 41,386; neat cattle, 441,307; sheep, 417,- 
577; goats, 27,618; swine, 177,188; total value, 

Honduras is a producer of all tropical staples. Her 
lands are suited for cotton, and she has an indig^enous 
sugar-cane that yields two and even three crops a 
year. Excellent coffee is raised in abundance. Coch- 
ineal and grapes were produced in former years, but 
the Spanish government caused the destruction of all 
the grapevines to protect the wine interests of the 
mother country. The nopal is indigenous and abun- 
dant. Honduras tobacco has a well-deserved reputa- 
tion, and indigo is produced in large quantities. Food 
staples are varied and abundant, as are fruits, woods, 
and medicinal plants. Agriculture is progressing; 
the country abounds in cattle, and nowhere in Central 
America is there a greater wealth of resources. 


Salvador, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica are equally 
favored, and have within the last thirty years made 
great advances in agriculture. The great staples of 
Salvador are indigo, coffee, maize, sugar, and rice. 
The introduction of coffee culture was due to Juan 
Jose Mora, the president of Costa Rica, during liis 
enforced absence from his country in 18G0. Indigo 
as early as 1630 yielded 10,000 quintals a year; the 
production from 1791 to 1800 was 8,752,562 pounds, 
worth $2 a pound; the value of the crop of 1864 was 
$1,129,105; that of 1877, $2,146,423. The crop of 
coffee in 1864 was worth about $80,000 ; that of 1877, 
$2,115,669; and of maize in 1877, $2,786,433. The 
aggregate values of all the agricultural products of 
Salvador for 1876-7 were $15,448,794. 

Nicaragua, Costa Rica, with the isthmus of Pana- 
ma, have in cultivation cacao, sugar, indigo, tobacco, 
cotton, coffee, maize, wheat, and other cereals, with 
plantains, and a variety of fruits in great abundance. 
The government has been alive to the necessity of 
developing agriculture, and particularly the produc- 
tion of coffee and tobacco. These countries possess 
also much natural wealth in the form of medicinal 
plants and cabinet and dye woods. Cattle are raised 
in considerable numbers, notvvithstandin<»: the scarcitv 
of nutritious grasses in summer, and the plague of 
vermin, which torment the animals and cause the 
death of many. 

Agriculture is and must continue to be the pre- 
dominant industry of these nations so richly endowed 
by nature. If the people place the management of 
their public affairs in the hands of competent and 
trusty men, controlling themselves so as to banish 
strife, and devoting their energies to the development 
of the great variety of natural resources at their com- 
mand, they will show their wisdom, and have their 
reward in the possession of a self-supporting, wealthy, 
independent, and happy country. 



Southern California — Genealogy and Parentage — Family Homestead 
— Early Training and Education— Mining Experience in California 
AND Chili — Railroad Building in Chili — Assaying and Prospecting 
IN Arizona— Indian Warfare— Manufacturing— Discovery of the 
Tombstone District — The Tombstone Mines— The Chino Estate — 
Dairy— The Chino Sugar-Mills— Mrs Gird— Physique and Charac- 
teristics — Opinions— Summary. 

Since the time when a couple of railroad cars would 
have contained the entire population settled between 
San Bernardino and Fort Yuma, a wonderful trans- 
formation has occurred in the social and industrial 
aspect of southern California. Within little more 
than two decades the herder and cowboy have given 
way to the husbandman, the grazier to the horticul- 
turist, and the scattered groups of adobe buildings, 
with streets unpaved and unlit, such as existed in the 
da^^s of Pio Pico and his bland brother Don Andres, 
to cities and towns with four-story business blocks of 
stone and brick, with electric lights, with steam and 
cable railroads, and all the appurtenances of this our 
latter-day civilization. Between 1870 and 1880 
southern California more than trebled its wealth. 
Between 1880 and 1890 its population increased in 
five-fold and its aojo-reo-ate wealth in ten-fold ratio. 
Tracts which in former years supported their thou- 
sands of cattle will now support their thousands of 
families when planted with fruit-trees and furnished 
with means of irrigation. 



Take for instance, the Cliino farms, lying in the 
counties of San Bernardino and Los Angeles, the 
property of Richard Gird, and containing in all some 
50,000 acres. OP this, a large portion has been laid 
out in ten-acre lots, and on each of these lots a family 
can be maintained in comfort, for there is a perfect 
svstem of irrigation throughout, with artesian wells 
additional in many places, causing the earth to bring 
forth its fruit in such abundance as elsewhere is seldom 
witnessed. In China, it is said, he who digs a well 
in a barren place is worshipped as a saint. Then 
should Mr Gird be at least regarded as a public bene- 
factor he having sunk a hundred wells imparting 
marvelous fertility to a large section of country. To 
sanctit}^ however Mr Gird makes no pretensions hav- 
ing no desire to cover his failings by a parade of his 
virtues. But without further prelude, let us have the 
story of his life, and first of all, of his ancestry, for on 
biographical studies genealogy may cast a flood of 

The name of Gird, if we can believe the chroni- 
clers, is one of the few that have come down to us 
unchanged from the Norse nomenclature. In Nor- 
mandy it is found in the old historic records, long 
antecedent to the days of William the Conqueror, by 
a member of whose invading army it was not improb- 
ably introduced into England, passing thence to Ire- 
land, though never becoming, in the proper sense of 
the term, an Irish patronymic. Mary Hynde, the 
great-grandmother of Richard Gird, was a Wexford 
matron, and a lineal descendant of the Irish king by 
whom was first invited to that country a monarch of 
the sister isle. In this connection the following 
legend is still extant. A son of this Irish king was 
enamoured of a beautiful damsel of noble family, and 
the passion was returned; but by her father the maiden 
Avas coerced into marriage with a man of rank and 
wealth, one much older than herself, and for whom 
she had no affection. Durins: her husband's absence 


at one of those grand hunting parties in which the 
Irish nobles clehghted and still delight,the bride com- 
municated with the prince, who came with his retain- 
ers and carried her away. Thereupon the husband 
and father, gathering their men together, set forth in 
pursuit. Being closely pressed, the young prince, in 
order to avoid capture, appealed to the English king 
for assistance, which was granted ! and thus he bid 
defiance to his pursuers. Among those who accom- 
panied the forces of the king was a member of the 
Gird family, who afterward settled in Ireland, and 
from whom are descended the Girds of America. 

Sir Henry Gird, the great-grandfather of Kichard, 
was a colonel in the British army, a man of exalted 
station, wealthy, cultured, and respected, one who in 
the discharge of his sternest duties as a soldier never 
forgot the dictates of humanity. Of this the following 
incident will serve as an illustration. Appointed to a 
command in Ireland in 1773, it became his duty to 
suppress a local insurrection, and for this purpose he 
led his well armed and disciplined troops against the 
insurgents, whose only weapons were scythes and 
sickles, pitchforks and shillalies. But not a whit 
were the Irish peasants daunted by the fate that con- 
fronted them, as threatened by an advancing foe 
within a hundred paces, with shotted cannon, fixed 
bayonets, and loaded muskets. Their courage chal- 
lenged the admiration of the colonel, who like other 
gallant officers was a man preferring peace. Halting 
his men, he rode up to their lines, and calling the 
leaders about him, won their confidence, and gained 
a bloodless victory by inducing them to disperse. 

About this time the two oldest of the colonel's 
sons, after completing their education in Dublin, 
passed over to England, partly on account of political 
disturbances, and also with a view to add to their 
other accomplishments the knowledge that can only 
be acquired by travel. On affairs of state their sen- 
timents were somewhat at variance, one taking side 


with the Eno:lish and the other with the Irish, thouojh 
all the sons were filled with the noble aspirations for 
liberty which the success of the American revolution 
had spread throughout the civilized world. Especially 
was this the case with Henry, the grandfather of our 
present Richard. In his younger days an Irish 
patriot, and in his later life an American patriot, it 
was foreordained that he should play an important 
part in the land where his children and grandchil- 
dren were destined to stand among the foremost of its 

It was in the closing years of the eighteenth cen- 
tury that Colonel Henry Gird determined to remove 
with his family to America ; but first he soug^ht the 
advice of President Washino-ton, receiving^ in answer 
to his inquiries a favorable and most courteous reply. 
The letter which contained it is still preserved among 
the archives of the family. In 1795 he landed in 
Virginia, purchasing a plantation near the town of 
Alexandria, which adventure proving unprofitable, 
he opened there a flouring-mill and starch factory. 
Meanwhile Henry, who had learned in Dublin the 
business of printing and publishing, established in the 
same town a newspaper called the Columbia Mirror. 
If honest, faithful, conscientious work, united with 
ability of no common order, could have made of this 
journal a success, then would it have surely succeeded ; 
but Henry Gird was at heart an abolitionist, and his 
views on slavery were expressed as fearlessly as, in 
later years, were those of Wendell Phillips and Wil- 
liam Lloyd Garrison. Coming to this country from 
a land where slavery did not exist, though the subjects 
of George III were in some respects not far removed 
from that condition, he was sorely disappointed to 
find such an infamy so deeply rooted in a soil where 
freedom had been purchased by the blood of her 

It was not in the nature of the Girds to barter con- 
science for popularity or gain ; nor could they be 


deterred from giving free utterance to the opinions 
dictated by earnest, heart-felt conviction. But, as 
editor and pubUsher of the Mirror, Henr\^ Gird 
depended, in common with other journahsts, on pub- 
He patronage, and his labors in Virginia could be 
made so unprofitable that he would be compelled to 
seek other employment, or to betake himself else- 
where, and it was not long ere he discovered that he 
who would work reforms, especially in matters that 
affect the pockets and prejudices of the community, 
has but a thankless task. Especially distasteful were 
such sentiments as the following, published in 1796 
in the form of verse, for like others of the family 
Henry was somewhat of a poet. 

" But when Columbia's sona can strike the blow, 
When they, who boundless liberty enjoy. 
Can forge the chain, and guide the dart of woe, 
They even religion's high behest destroy." 

Hence it was that about the year 1800 Henr}^ Gird 
removed to New York, founding in that city the pub- 
lishing house of.»Gird and Stanberry, by whom was 
published a magazine, of which he assumed the edit- 
orship. A man of powerful intellect, with lofty pur- 
pose impelled by his strong convictions and vivid 
sympathies, he devoted his entire energies to his 
chosen field of letters, and erelong his health gave 
way under the arduous duties of his position. He 
died in 1812 and was buried in Trinity cemetery. If 
his views were somewhat exaggerated, as was apt to 
be the case with one whose youth and earlier man- 
hood were passed amid monarchical institutions, his 
errors were ever on the side of freedom, and to his 
descendents he transmitted the strength of his con- 
victions, and his broad humanitarian sentiments. 

John Gird, the father of Richard, was a man of 
magnificent physique, an inch over six feet in height, 
erect, broad-shouldered, and with an averaofe weio-ht 
of more than two hundred pounds. A native of Tren- 
ton, New Jersey, where he was born in 1802, he 
began life as a school-teacher, and later became a 
c. B.-ni. 6 


farmer and dairyman in Herkimer county, New York, 
in which occupation he met with more than average 
success, owning one of the largest farms in the neigh- 
borhood, and having besides a goodly sum invested in 
bank stock and other choice securities. Like his 
father, he was an educated and also a self-cultured 
man, with a special aptitude for mathematics, a con- 
stant reader, especially of historical works. In youth 
he was religiously inclined, becoming a member of 
the methodist church, though never a sectarian, and 
in his later years entertaining liberal views on religious 
topics. He was public-spirited, as was shown by the 
school-house and church which he erected at his 
own expense in Herkimer county. Above all he 
was a man of stainless morals and of strictly tem- 
perate habits, using neither strong drink nor tobacco 
in any form. Possessed of rare firmness and tenacity 
of purpose, and of remarkable self-control, his charac- 
ter was in keeping with the physical powers which 
prolonged his life to the ripe old age of four-score 
years and nine. 

To return to Richard Gird's maternal ancestry, of 
which mention has in part been made, his grand- 
mother, nee Smith, was a native of Long Island, 
where for three generations the family had resided, 
though originally among the Rhode Island colonists, 
receiving from one of its earlier governors a patent 
for land. At the time of the revolutionary war her 
father was the owner of a large flouring-mill, from the 
profits of which he acquired a competence, afterward 
fallinof into straitened circumstances through the re- 
pudiation by the government of its paper currency. 
Later he removed to central New York, accompanied 
by his daughter, then a widow and the mother of sev- 
eral children. It may be mentioned that when only 
three years of age this lady was wounded by one of 
the Hessian soldiery by whom Long Island was 
occupied after the disaster that befell the continental 
army. AYhether the wound was due to accident or 


brutality is not recorded ; but the scar which she then 
received was borne until the day of her death. 

Without dwellino; further on the lineagje of Richard 
Gird, it may be stated that on the father's side it was 
of royalist, and on the mother's of puritan stock, 
thus giving to the present generation tlie somewhat 
strange but salutary blending of cavalier and round- 
head. His maternal ancestors were among the earliest 
and most respected of Boston merchants, introducing 
there, through the importation of porcelain goods from 
China, a branch of commerce that had never before 
been attempted. 

Laura King was the maiden name of Mr Gird's 
mother ; her mother was the daughter of a physi- 
cian named Anderson, a man of note in social and 
professional circles. Anderson took in marriage a sister 
of General Donaldson, who durino; the French war 
was one of the councilors of the o;overnor of Massa- 
chusetts. Laura, an only daughter, was married to 
John Gird at the age of nineteen, and of this union 
ten children were born. She was a woman of medium 
stature, of slender and graceful figure, in features in- 
tellectual, in nature refined and spiritual. Reared in 
one of the leading families of Massachusetts, she 
received the best education to be had in a state that 
was even then world-famous for its institutions of 
learning. To the store of knowledge thus acquired, 
she added the choicest treasures culled from the pages 
of history ; for to historic lore her tastes inclined, and 
many a long winter evening her children passed in 
listening to her readings from the great masters, sim- 
plified by her careful and lucid explanations so that the 
youngest among them could comprehend their mean- 
ing. The inane frivolities of society she held in just 
contempt, and in no society did she take such delight 
as in that of her husband and family. Yet in some 
respects she was the very antithesis of her husband ; 
the one was the embodiment of sternness, and severity 
the other by the power of kindness training her chil- 


dren with all the strength of a woman's love to be just 
and generous to others, and striving to impress on 
them the worthy sentiments and the pursuit of a 
worthy ambition. 

For generations the Girds have been known as men 
of high standing in the community, men of strong 
force and pride of character, of strong convictions, of 
undaunted courage, of rare intellectual endowments, 
and for the most part of rare intellectual attainments. 
Like the cavaliers from whom they were descended, 
they were noted for honor and courtesy, for their dig- 
nified courtl}^ manners and their chivalrous conduct. 
Add to these graces a sturdy patriotism, the tenacity 
of purpose and deep religious convictions of the puri- 
tan stock, and in this interning tone of ancestry we 
have the alembic through which we may distill the 
character and delineate the career of Richard Gird. 

The birthplace of Richard was an old-fashioned 
country house in Herkimer county, on the shore of 
Cedar lake, and at the head of the Susquehanna river. 
His natal day was the 29th of INIarch 1836. There 
were, as I have said, ten children in the family, of whom 
the eldest son, named Henry, came to California at an 
early age, was successful as a gold miner, and after a 
varied career, settled himself in Sonoma county in 1854, 
where at the date of this writing he still resided. An- 
other brother was at that date a resident of Sonora, 
Mexico, in charge of the ranchos of Georo-e C. Perkins 
and others, in which he was personally interested. A 
third, William, was in charge of a branch of Richard's 
business at Ontario, and a fourth, Edward D., after a 
brief residence in California having died at the old 
homestead in 1876. Of the two sons named John, one 
died in early youth, and the other was a graduate of 
Cornell university, where he displayed such profi- 
ciency in mathematics that the faculty, most of 
whom were graduates of Oxford, insisted on his enter- 
ing that university where he was offered a sub-profess- 
orship which he declined. Of the daughters, Mary, 


the eldest, inherited all the literary tastes of her 
mother, excellinor also in her knowledge of French. 
Ellen became the wife of one H B. Martin, of Chi- 
cago. Emma still lived at the family homestead in 
Herkimer county, and Lillian was laid at rest in 
one of those grassy churchyard graves, where no 
sound is heard save the ceaseless ripple of the Sus- 
quehanna, whispering, as with the low sad monotone 
of ocean, the requiem for the dead. 

The home in which Kichard passed the days of his 
3^outh was a roomy and commodious dw^elling, now- 
seventy j^ears old at least, handsomely furnished in 
rosew^ood and black walnut, all of antique pattern, with 
straight-backed chairs and the grimmest of horse-hair 
sofas, grievous to body and limb, and suggestive of 
anything but repose. Here might be seen one of the 
choicest collections of relics belono-ing; to the revolu- 
tionary period, gathered for the most part in Virginia, 
the former home of the Girds. Among other objects of 
interest w'as an invitation to dinner extended by Gen- 
eral Washington to the great-grandfather of Kichard 
Gird. Here also was a copy of the family crest, the 
head of a roebuck, to which animal is applied by some 
authorities the old Saxon word spelled variously geard, 
gerd, gyrd, and gird. 

Attached to the homestead was a farm of moderate 
size, with saw and grist mills, and near by a village 
with its few scattered dwellings, its school-house and 
church, its postoffice, its single store, and its black- 
smith's shop. Here Richard worked, as soon as he 
was able to work, attending the district school in win- 
ter, and in summer remaining on the farm. At 
fifteen, his father being disabled by an accident, he 
was placed in charge of his estate; and that he was 
equal to the task appears from his own description of 
these youthful days. " I rose early in the morning," 
he says, " and in rain, sleet, and snow attended to ten 
or twenty cow^s; then came home and had breakfast; 
and before going to school went out into the woods 


aAid cut logs. In summer I worked all the time. At 
twelve I bad become a field hand. At sixteen, just 
before coming to this country, I remember going out 
into the field one day and cradling six acres of mixed 
barley and oats, which was subsequently verified 
by actual measurement. All this combined to give 
nie a very robust physical constitution. One of my 
earliest recollections is a visit to the farm of my grand- 
father, who accompanied me to the top of a hill whence 
we could see all over the country. As I looked on 
the landscape, with its farms and farm-houses spread 
beneath us in what seemed to me an endless panorama, 
I exclaimed : " What a cfreat big;; world this is I" 

It was by no means an unhappy life that Richard 
passed on this farm in central New York, v/ith its 
ceaseless toil and rigorous climate, its torrid heat in sum- 
mer, and its long drear winters, chill and bleak as 
those which greeted the Mayflower pilgrims, to whose 
ancestrv his mother's origjin is traced. Amid such 
environment have been trained the hardiest of New 
England's sons, men to whom, more than to all others, 
their country is indebted for her physical, moral, and 
material o-reatness. "It was here that Waterloo was 
won," exclaimed Wellington, as he observed a group 
of Eton lads engfaged in their robust and health sfiving: 
sports. And looking at the honest toil of these New 
England yeomen, whose muscles and sinews have 
been hardened into steel by their stern encounter with 
the obstacles of nature, we might say, " It is here 
that Gettysburg was won." Here at least, if any- 
where, has been worked out the problem of the sur- 
vival of the fittest, for the sick and weakly perished, 
and in those who remained is embodied one of the 
highest types of which humanity is capable. 

In his school days Richard was known as a bright, 
active, intelligent lad, full of boyish energy and boy- 
ish love of adventure, studious withal on the subjects 
that were to his taste, but at all times inclining rather 
to mischief than to sudy. " We were taught every- 


tiling." he says, " that was useful to a man who had 
to fight his way in the world ; history, geography, 
geometry, trigonometry, and a thorough English edu- 
cation. We had our spelling competitions, and there 
was considerable rivalry between the different fami- 
lies. The education we received was exceedingly 
good, and will compare favorably with the tuition of 
to-day. We did not have quite so much Latin and 
Greek perhaps ; but we had other subjects that were 
more practical." All through life Mr Gird has been 
an omnivorous reader, with a preference for the more 
serious class of literature ; and that this taste was 
inherited and not acquired is sufficiently apparent 
from the rangfe of his studies, reminding^ us rather of 
a youthful Macaulay or Gibbon than of a farmer's son 
yet lacking some years of his teens. At an age when 
for most boys The Pathfinder and The Last of the Mohi- 
cans have more fascination than the choicest gems of 
philosopher, poet, or historian, we find him making a 
thorough study of Burtoiis Anatomy of Melancholy. 
At seven he had read three volumes of Johnson's Ram- 
bler ; at eio-ht he had exhausted the historical works 
in his father's library ; and at ten, as he says, he had 
"read everything within reach." All these hundreds 
of books — for his father's library was of the largest 
and best selected in central New York — he read with 

As with other successful men, the most valuable 
part of his education was that which he gave to him- 
self or received at home ; for the parental training of 
the children was of itself an education better than 
school or college could afford. It was his parents' 
wish that Richard should engage in some literary 
pursuit ; but for this he had no inclination. First of 
all he knew full well that literature did not pay, and 
he was not one of those who disregarded Greeley's 
warning not to betake himself to that calling through 
'' dearth of potatoes." Moreover, though fond of 
study he was more fond of adventure, and for him 


the attractions of frontier life, such a life for instance 
as that of the argonauts, possessed an irresistible 
charm. Already his eldest brother was on the Pacific 
coast, and now at the age of sixteen Richard decided 
to join him. " Father," he said, introducing the sub- 
ject somewhat to the consternation of his sire, " I am 
^oino; to California." " Well," said the elder Gird, 
who was slow of speech, and a little chary of words, 
" how are you going to get there ?" "I expect you 
to advance the money," quietly answered Richard. 
''Then," said the other, "you will never get there, 
for I certainly shall not let 3'ou have the money." 
John Gird remained immovable, whereupon the boy 
betook himself to his mother, who at first attempted to 
dissuade him, using that strongest of woman's weapons, 
a mother's tears. " But," said the lad, " mother, I 
shall never be anything here. 1 have made up my 
mind to go, and if father will not let me have the 
money, I shall go without it." After some further 
parley the mother yielded. " Well, Richard," she 
said, " I know that when you say you will do a thing, 
you will do it ; you can go ; for I feel that I can trust 
you anywhere in the world, I will see your father, 
and talk the matter over with him." The result was 
that his father handed him the sum of $1,500, first 
exacting a promise that he would not encourage his 
brothers to leave their home. A week later Mr Gird 
was en route for California. 

It was toward the close of 1852 that Richard Gird 
landed in San Francisco, accompanied b}?- two young 
Irislimen who had worked on his father's farm. In 
crossing the Isthmus at a time when the streams were 
swollen, one of them fell into the Chagres river, and 
would have been drowned had not Gird plunged into 
the water and dragged him forth. For this kindness 
the only return was, that when a few weeks later Gird 
was stricken with the Panama fever, contracted per- 
haps through this very incident, the Irishmen de- 
serted him. Nevertheless he survived, and in due 


time proceeded north and passed through the golden 

Remaining but a day ni San Francisco, Gird set 
forth for tlie mines, walkinof over the grround where 
had been Sacramento immediately after the conflagra- 
tion which destroyed the business portion of the city. 
The streets were wet and muddy ; the few remaining 
houses were crowded, and, as Mr Gird remarks, "he 
was compelled to pay two dollars and a half for the 
privilege of standing up all night in a tent." A day 
or two later we find him at Coloma, where he was 
met by his brother Henry, who w^as mining at the 
Greenwood placers. Here he invested a portion of 
his means in claims adjoining those of his brother, 
intending at once to set to work. It was at this junc- 
ture that he was overtaken by sickness, from the 
efTects of which he did not readily recover, and but 
for his brother's care would perhaps have never re- 
covered. His sickness lasted until the spring, and 
even then his lungs were so weak that he was barely 
able to walk by the side of the ox-team provided by 
his brother for conveying him to comfortable quarters 
near the town of Healdsburg. 

Here some months were passed, and in the autumn, 
being now restored to health, he began stock-farming 
in the Russian River valley, in conjunction with his 
brother. For several years the venture was fairly 
profitable, and Richard's share of the profits was fur- 
ther increased by judicious purchases and sales of 

Having arrived at the age of twenty-one, he found 
that he had achieved a moderate success. He was 
not wealthy, but he was fairly on the road to wealth, 
and by nature and training was endowed with quali- 
ties more to be desired than wealth, with courage 
and self-reliance, with capability and persistance, and 
with the choicest of blessing's a vio'orous constitution, 
one that was never impaired by senseless dissipation. 
He had come to these shores with a fixed purpose in 


life, the purpose of making for himself a f(jrtmie and 
a name ; and this he would accomplish unless some 
over-ruling power should stand in his path. He had 
inherited all his father's grim tenacity of will, and this 
he displayed even when stricken with fever at the 
Greenwood mining camp, crawling from his sick-bed 
to scrape from the rocks the first gold that he gath- 
ered in this western El Dorado. 

In 1858, partly with a view to purchase copper 
lands, and also to examine iti mines and acquire a 
more thorough knowledge of mining, he took ship for 
Chili, and passed some months in prospecting among 
the mineral ledges of the Andes. But the best of 
them he found already appropriated, and for the most 
part all but exhausted. The most valuable of the 
copper lands he found to be under the control of 
English capitalists, who were acquiring fortunes 
thereby. Of the country and its inhabitants Gird 
made a thorough and intelligent study, and was favor- 
ably impressed with both. But to him the prevail- 
ing system of peonage was abhorrent, reminding hip 
of the former serfdom of Russia, the ancient villein- 
agje of Enorland. and of that curse now forever blotted 
from the soil of the United States, human slavery 
In some respects peonage in Chili was even worss 
than slavery in the United States, for the peons were 
held for debt and passed with the land, as firmly fixed 
thereto as the cattle and implements of husbandry. 

Finding: little encouragjement in this field of ac- 
tion he obtained employment of Henry Meiggs, 
the railroad contractor ; but this portion of his ex- 
perience is best related in his own words. '* I 
was prospecting in the Andes," he says, "as long 
as I could hope to strike anything ; but meeting 
with no success, I was parking in with my blank 
ets when I met one of Meiggs' engineer corps, 
and volunteered my services. My mining experience 
stood me in good stead, and soon I was placed in 
charge of a section. At a certain rocky point there 


was a very heavy piece of work, just the kind of work 
I was accustomed to ; and in my section m uch better 
and quicker work was done than in any of the 
others. I also showed them a number of contrivan- 
ces that were new to them, and began to be looked 
upon as a useful man. One day they had a wash-out, 
caused by the swelling of one of those terrible moun- 
tain torrents for which the Andes are noted. A 
portion of an iron bridge was carried away, and its 
place filled with bowlders and rubbish. They propos- 
ed to clear away the debris, move back one of the 
abutments, and rebuild the bridge ; but after they 
had thought it over for a while, I suggested that 
they allow me to manage the business. I simply 
turned the obstruction into the bed of the river, 
and the river carried it away. This brought me to 
the notice of Meiggs, and I became quite an import- 
ant personage. They began to think I could do 
almost anything ; so that if 1 had wished to remain 
they would have given me any position that 1 de- 

In Gird's opinion Meiggs was one of the great- 
est of modern financiers. When the contract was 
awarded to him for building the Ferro-carril del 
Sur, his funds consisted of $300, together with a 
small amount -obtained by pledging his watch and 
jewelry. With this as his capital, he assumed a con- 
tract the profits of which amounted to $2,000,000 or 
$3,000,000. The government was almost as poor as 
himself, but their bonds were negotiable, and on 
these he secured a large percentage in cash, to- 
gether with a considerable proportion of the mort- 
gage bonds. Then came success, the full measure 
of which often attends him whose first efforts have 

Early in 1860, Mr Gird set forth on what he 
intended to be a few weeks' visit to his home in New 
York ; but ao-ain he was stricken with the Pana- 
ma fever, from the effects of which he did not 


entirely recover until the spring of 1861. Re- 
turning to California, he brought with him two of 
his sisters, one of whom became the wife of H. B. 
Martin, with whom he afterward formed a partner- 
ship in the hardware and machinery business. 

In the winter of 1862, having previously made 
himself master of the art of assaying, he went to 
Arizona, accompanied by one Isaac Bradshaw, and 
taking with him all that was needed for the busi- 
ness of an assayer, especially with a view to de- 
termine the character of the ores. The mines he 
found to be fairly rich, but worked by the process 
of dry washing of which he did not approve. He 
then began prospecting for copper, and found some 
rich deposits in what were known as gash veins. 
In places the ore was so rich as to pay for ship- 
ping and from this he made a sufficient sum for further 

At the beginning of 1863 he planned an expe- 
dition into the interior ; this he made with a single 
comrade, and was the first to explore a path from 
the Colorado river to Prescott, by way of Granite 
Wash. At this time travellers were compelled to 
make a wide detour on their way to Prescott, for 
Apaches were numerous and hostile, and the word 
had gone forth that no white man should pass 
through this region, which was their favorite hunting- 
ground. Thus it was not without risk or trouble 
that Gird and his comrade made their way to Pres- 
cott. At Granite Wash the Indians were in force, 
and at this point their journey was mainly by night, 
twenty or thirty miles being covered between dusk and 
dawn. At Weaver where a party was organized for 
a prospecting tour, their animals were stampeded, and 
tlie company left without means of transport, except 
a couple of old and jaded horses. Near by was a de- 
tachment of New Mexico militia, and these Mr Gird 
tried in vain to enlist for an expedition to recover 
their cattle. The company then started alone, and 


for six weeks followed the Apaches on foot ; but the 
latter keeping out of reach, they returned to their 
camp at the head of the San Francisco river. Here 
in this wild and unexplored country they were detain- 
ed by a heavy fall of snow, most of the time on star- 
vation rations. Their worn out shoes were replaced 
by moccasins, except the case of Mr Gird, who had 
brought with him a second pair ; on him therefore 
fell the task of hunting, for they had little but game 
to live upon. To such straits were they reduced, 
that a coyote roasted over their camp fire furnished 
the entire company with a repast. 

Making their way to the nearest military post, the 
commander refused to supply them with food ; but 
the soldiers, many of whom were California volun- 
teers, served them with the first sufficient meal they 
had eaten for months, and afterward shared with 
them their rations, receiving nothing in return, for 
there was not a dollar among the entire company. 
Finally they reached the mining camp of Prescott, 
founded about this time by Joe Walker, an old pio- 
neer who had piloted Fremont across the continent. 
In its neiojhborhood Walker and his comrades had 
discovered the Lynx Creek gold mine, and hence the 
founding of the present capital of Arizona. From a 
Jew storekeeper they begged for a small stock of 
provisions on credit, and being refused took what 
they needed, paying for it the following day with the 
money received from the sale of a deer, shot and 
carried into camp by Gird. This was the only money 
made by any of the company during the expedition. 
Soon afterward the party separated, and of its mem- 
bers, thirteen in number, all but three or four fell 
within a year at the hands of the Apaches 

Returning to Arizona after a brief visit to San 
Francisco, Mr Gird joined a volunteer force organ- 
ized for a campaign against the Indians, with Colonel 
Wolsey, and Gird as second in command, the latter 
also in charge of the commissariat. During this ex- 


pedition, which lasted an entire year, the men adopt- 
ed Indian tactics, fighting them their own fasliion, 
surprising their camps, sleeping in the canons by day, 
and for the most part attacking the foe under the 
cover of darkness. In all this protracted camping 
not a man was lost, though many hardships were 
encountered, and the operations of the force were re- 
tarded through the jealousy of the regular troops. 
Arriving for instance at Fort Goodwin, starving 
footsore and shoeless, they were refused supplies, and 
only at the request of Captain Harrover'fe company 
of volunteers were food and clothing procured. On 
the spot where now stands the town of Globe, some 
tribes of Indians were encamped, and on these an attack 
planned by a combined force of regulars and volun- 
teers. But the regular cavalry arrived on the ground, 
a day too soon, and that for no other purpose than to 
prevent the volunteers from sharing in the encounter. 
When the latter were disbanded, Gird resolved that 
he would never again engage in this kind of warfare, 
with its attended massacre, its brutal and hideous 
traQ:edies. Such scenes were not to his taste ; for 
though a gallant soldier, he was ever on the side of 
peace. Certain it is that he did not covet such 
military renown as comes from the slaughter of de- 
fenceless and undisciplined savages. 

When Arizona was organized as a territory by act 
of congress, Mr Gird was intrusted to make a map 
of the territory ; and so thorough and accurate was 
his workmanship, that with slight modifications it has 
since been adopted as the standard chart, giovernment 
surveyors appointed later for a similar purpose re- 
porting their task as useless. 

His map completed, Mr Gird resumed his pros- 
pecting and copper mining in Arizona, but with in- 
different results. Returning to San Francisco, he 
joined his brother-in-law in the manufacturing 
business, including the making of engines and 
hydraulic pumps. At their establishment was 


fashioned what was one of the most powerful pumps 
in the world, capable of raising a column of water 
from the base to the summit of Mount Hamilton, a 
perpendicular height of nearly a thousand feet ; and 
under his supervision were also built a dozen more 
of the first hydraulic elevators used in the city of 
San Francisco. Though fairly successful, the bus- 
iness brought with it more of reputation than of 
gain, for competition was active, labor and materi- 
al were costly, and prices so low as to leave bub 
the narrowest margin of profit. 

Withdrawing from his partnership in 1871, Mr 
Gird returned once more to Arizona ; for there the 
star of destiny beckoned him, and he never could 
abandon the idea that in the mines of that country 
his fortune was to be made. True, it was there to be 
made, but not yet. At Cerbat, in the mineral park, 
he prospected without success, and then accepted a 
position as assayer for the McCracken mine. But 
besides being a skilled assayer, he was also a mechani- 
cal engineer, and soon his services were in demand 
to erect the mills, machinery, and smelters for an 
adjoining claim. For years it had been an unprofit- 
able venture, but under his management the mine 
was converted into a paying property. 

While thus engaged, he made the acquaintance of 
one of the miners, named SchiefFelin, whose brother 
came into camp one day with a piece of rock that 
was given him to assa3^ Finding it to be of good 
quality, he suggested that it might pay to work the 
ground from which it was taken. To this the other 
consented, on condition that Gird should accompany 
him and defray the expense of the outfit. So it was 
arranged ; and soon afterward the three were on 
their way to the new location, passing through 
Tucson and Wickenburg to what was known as the 
Bronco house, built by an Austrian, and for many 
years a favorite rendezvous for smugglers. Here a 
furnace was erected, charcoal burned, and everything 


made ready for work. The neighboring mountain 
range was explored for several miles to the north- 
east, with the result that ore was found, assaying 
more than $2200 per ton. A hundred and sixty 
acres of mineral land were located, including among 
others the Contention, Goodenough, Great Central, 
and Tough Nut mines, the last being so called be- 
cause of the difficulty of determining the bearings of 
the vein ; and the Contention, on account of a dispute 
as to the interest of one of the partners. The news 
of the discovery was quickly spread abroad, and present- 
ly a camp was formed, and regulations framed by Gird 
and the Schieffelins. This was in the spring of 1878, 
But now came the question, what were they to do with 
their property ? for their joint capital did not exceed 
$5000, a sum altogether insufficient to develop this 
remote and isolated district. 

After some vain attempts to secure the cooperation 
of capitalists, the claims were bonded for $90,000. An 
expert was sent to examine them, and escorted by 
Gird he was conducted to the mouth of the shaft, 
near which was a pile of ore, unsorted and cast on 
the dump as extracted. ''Well " said the man, as he 
looked at it with contempt, "if this is what you call 
ore, I should like to see the rock." Fortunate it was 
for Gird and his comrades that he reported adversely, 
wishing to interest his principal in other properties 
in which he was himself a shareholder. The mine 
which he despised, afterward turned out gold and 
silver by the million, proving to be one of the richest 
of all the Arizona camps. Finally arrangements 
were made with Governor Safford and others to ad- 
vance the sum of $85,000, the governor and his asso- 
ciates receivinof in return a one-fourth interest, leav- 
ing a one-fourth share for Gird and each of bis part- 

To Mr Gird was entrusted the entire management 
of affairs; and proceeding to San Francisco he or- 
dered his mill and machinery, himself preparing the 


plans. In the mountains some twenty-five miles 
from the camp, he built a saw-mill, conveying timber 
to the mines on sleds, made of rough lumber, which 
held together just long enough for the purpose re- 
quired. Purchasing all water rights on the San 
Pedro river between Melville and the Sonora line, 
he built a dam and flume, securing ample water-power 
for his mill. All these operations involved a heavy 
outlay, and as it seemed to lookers-on without any pros- 
pect to warrant it. Men said that Gird had gone crazy; 
that he did not know what he was about. But he 
knew perfectly well what he was about. He was 
about getting a fortune by developing one of the 
richest mineral districts in Arizona. 

It was on the 15th day of May 1879, when the 
Gird mill was put in motion, at first with ten, and 
later with fifteen stamps From that date until in the 
spring of 1882 when he severed his connection with 
the mines, the average yield w^as at the rate of $90,- 
000 a month ; and of this more than one-half was 
disbursed in dividends. From the first profits were 
paid, and that within sixty days, the sum advanced 
by Governor Saff'ord and his partners, who after- 
ward divided among them $2,000,000 in addition to 
the amount of their investment. His own interest 
Mr Gird disposed of for $800,000, and the Schief- 
felins for $500,000 each. Nevertheless, an equal 
division was made of the proceeds, according to their 
orignal agreement. Gird refusing more than his one- 
third share ; though to him was mainly due not only 
the working and development of the mines, but the 
sale of his partners' interests. Whatever may be 
the faults of Richard Gird, and these I would neither 
palliate nor deny, greed and self-seeking are not 
among them. 

Such, in brief is the earlier history of the Tomb- 
stone district, so named from the dismal forebodings 
of his friends when Edward Schieflelin, its discoverer, 
set forth on his prospecting tour from Fort Huachuca. 

C. B.— HI. 7 


By these friends Edward was strongly urged to 
remain, as the region whither he was bound was 
swarming with bands of marauding Apaches "But," 
declared SchiefFelin, '' I am going to make a big find 
this time." " All you will ever find there will be your 
tombstone." Hence the namincr of the district thus 
christened by Edward Schieffelin, with the consent of 
his partners. Up to the close of 1883 the total yield 
of that district exceeded $30,000,000, though its out- 
put largely decreased when Gird withdrew from the 
management of its principal mines. In 1891, partly 
through disasters by flood and fire, the camp was vir- 
tually abandoned. 

Speaking of his mining experience in Arizona, Mr 
Gird remarks : " I went into mining as a means to an 
end. My intention was, as soon as I had made a for- 
tune to get out of it and settle down on a farm. After 
my success in Arizona I was satisfied to let well alone ; 
for I had long: since decided that if once I met with 
reasonable success in mining^ I would never be foolish 
enouo^h to run the risk of losing: what I had made. 
We all know that mining: is a most uncertain business, 
and one should not take too many chances. Yet I 
cannot say that I regret this experience. I was one 
of the first to cross the desert, assaying for two years, 
and doing my best to help the miners along. I 
studied mineralogy and soon became an expert assayer. 
I was also a thoroughly practical miner and mineral- 
ogist. I could go into a mine and do civil engineering 
work, mill work, mineralogical work ; in short any 
kind of mechanical work came to me naturally. At 
this time I was working very hard, and for a whole 
year I labored and studied eighteen hours a day, 
allowing myself only six hours for rest. Habits of 
industry have been the sole cause of my success in 
life, and it is in these habits that Californians as a 
rule are most deficient. I have always been a hard 
worker, and never knew what it was to go into society 


merely for pleasure's sake ; never knew what it was 
to be idle as much as two weeks at a time." 

While assaymg at these camps amid the Arizona 
desert, the question was often put to him, " Why did 
you remain there, working- for less than you could 
command elsewhere?" His answer expressed the 
hope that was in him that " some day he would strike 
it rich." At length, after many failures, he struck it, 
and in no small measure was his success due to his 
liberal treatment of the prospectors, for whom his 
assays were made without charge, his only return 
being such information as might lead to better results 
from his own prospecting. Mr Gird went to Arizona 
with a few dollars in his purse. He left it with as 
many hundreds of thousands, and with what he valued 
more, the consciousness of having won the respect 
and good will of all his associates. 

The intention which Mr Gird had formed of settling 
himself on a farm, he was not slow to carry into effect, 
though at first with no definite idea as to its location, 
except that he had al wa^^s had a preference for southern 
California, Early in 1881, being seized with an at- 
tack of malaria, he returned to San Francisco, and 
when convalescent set forth on horseback to examine 
some of the properties that were for sale. Passing 
through San Bernardino county, he came to the Chino 
farm, of some 36,000 acres, where twenty years before 
he had camped on his way to Arizona. Looking 
down from the mountain slope on the beautiful val- 
ley beneath, he had then said to himself, " What a 
lovely spot ; if I could have thirty acres of that land 
I would settle down and live there forever." Little 
did he think at the time that he would become the 
owner of those thirty acres, and of more than thirty 
thousand besides. After some negotiation, and the 
delay incidental to securing a title, the purchase was 
finally consummated. Thus did Richard Gird fulfill 
his long-cherished ambition of securing what he 
modestly terms " an acre or two of land." 


The Chino farm is one of the choicest of all the 
garden spots of southern California, resting among the 
broad and fertile valleys of San Bernardino and Los 
Angeles, and encircled by wooded dells and hills of 
graceful contour, above which tower, to the height of 
11,000 feet, the snow-o-irt ranges of the Sierra. Here 
is the home of our citrus and deciduous fruits, of the 
vine, the olive, and the fig, of the almond and the 
walnut, of flowerins: shrubs and shade-mving; trees, 
presenting one of the fairest landscapes on which 
human eye can rest. Situated partly in the south- 
western corner of San Bernardino county and extend- 
ing over into the county of Los Angeles, the estate 
is some twenty-five miles from the city of San Ber- 
nardino, about thirty-five east of Los Angeles, and 
adjacent to the towns of Pomona and Ontario. The 
following is, in brief, the history of this well-known 

In March 1841, when California was still a part 
of the territory of Mexico, a government grant of 
22,234 acres, called the Rancho Santa Ana del Chino, 
was made to Senor Antonio M. Lugo, a Mexican of 
distinction and alcalde for the department. Some two 
years later 13,366 acres adjoining on the northeast 
were granted to Isaac Williams, Lugo's son-in-law, 
under the name of Addition to the Bancho Santa Ana 
del Chino. The first grant was patented by the gov- 
ernment of the United States in February, and the 
second in April 1869. Many are the historic inci- 
dents connected with the rancho del Chino. Here 
the early immigrants to California by the southern 
route found a resting place for themselves and their 
cattle. A large book which Mr Gird has in his pos- 
session contains autobiographic accounts written by 
travellers who halted there in their trip across the 
continent — narratives of Indian fights, and of the pri- 
vations and dangers encountered. Here also was the 
scene of some of the earlier skirmishes between the 
native Californians and the American invaders, one 


of tfi'e hottest contests taking place under the walls 
of Lugo's adobe dwelling. 

Both the grants were included in the purchase 
made by Mr Gird in 1881. In that year he took 
possession of the estate, and at once began to improve 
it, enclosino- it with a barbed wire fence at a cost of 
$80,000, and stocking it with cattle, of which, in 1891, 
he had more than 4,000 head, and of horses about 
800, all blooded stock, and of the choicest strains, 
among the latter being several colts sired by Elec- 
tioneer and other famous stallions of the Palo Alto 
stables. He has since acquired by purchase addi- 
tional tracts, until his place now includes as I have 
said nearly 50,000 acres, of which 12,000 are reserved 
for his homestead. Of the remainder, 23,000 acres 
have been surveyed into ten-acre tracts, each fronting 
upon a road. The soil of this portion consists of a 
rich dark loam, about 10,000 acres being adapted to 
oranges and 3,000 to raisin grapes ; Avhile other sec- 
tions are suitable for the culture of the olive, for 
deciduous and small fruits, and for vegetables. All 
this part of the rancho is available for tillage, being 
free from rocks, barrancas, and brush. A gentle 
slope of from twenty to forty feet to the mile renders 
the drainage perfect, without subjecting the land to 
the danger of washing. A noteworthy feature is the 
amount of moisture which the soil retains. The 
neighboring mountains have a rainfall of forty -five 
inches a year, or sufficient to fill a basin 400 square 
miles in area and four feet deep. Much of this water 
finds its way underground to the Chino valley, and 
is absorbed by the land, which consists largely of 
what is termed moist land, requiring no irrigation. 
In the valley the average rainfall is twenty inches ; 
and for fifty years or more no serious drought has 
occurred on this land, which even in the disastrous 
season of 1864 carried its stock with inconsiderable 
loss. In Chino creek, a never failiuix tributarv of 
the Santa Ana river, whose course lies through the 


tract, there is a plentiful supply of water ; at a depth 
of six to eio'hteen feet pure soft water is found ; and 
of the one hundred artesian wells, there are none 
whose depth exceeds 300 or 400 feet. 

As in other portions of southern California, it may 
be said that in the Chino valley winter does not ex- 
ist. In January the average temperature is 52° ; in 
July it is 68° ; extremes of heat and cold being alike 
unknown. Here is no such gradation of seasons as 
is found in eastern or European countries ; for one 
season glides into another almost without perceptible 
change, except in the tints of foliage and vegetation 
from the russet brown hues of summer to the brill- 
iant green of winter. Here are running streams 
whose waters never fail and never freeze; here the 
orange tree is untouched by frost, flowers blossom the 
whole year round, and the cultivation of the soil is 
continued throughout the winter months. It is in 
truth a climate worthy of southern California, one 
where June and December meet, where there is 
nothing to interfere with comfort or compel cessation 
of toil. 

Almost throuofh the center of the estate runs the 
Pomona and Elsinore railroad now in process of 
construction, forming a junction at Chino with the 
Chino valley railroad and with a branch of the 
Southern Pacific, the main line of which skirts 
the northern line of the estate, and near by are 
the stations of two of our transcontinental thor- 
oughfares. The town-site of Chino is connected by 
a narrow-gauge road, soon to be extended to Anaheim 
landing, with the systems of the Southern Pacific and 
the Atchison Topeka and Santa Fe. Of all the 
ranchos subdivided within recent years there are 
probably none where the farmer and fruit-raiser can 
find in addition to all the other superior advantages 
such facilities for transportation. 

Tlie town of Chino occupies one of the most beau- 
tiful locations on the tract, with spacious streets and 


park reservations, and with an abundant supply of 
the purest water. For irrigation and for protection 
against fire, w^ater is conveyed under a pressure of 
150 feet in quantities sufficient for both of these pur- 
poses. In 1891 there was connection by telegraph 
and telephone through Pomona and Ontario wdth the 
systems of southern California. There were scores 
of neat and commodious residences, and several thriv- 
ing stores ; there were post and express offices, banks 
and hotels, newspapers, and public schools, with all 
the adjuncts pertaining to a thrifty and flourishing 

Apart from the town, it is estimated that each of 
the ten-acre subdivisions of the Chino tract will sup- 
port a family in comfort, or that two thousand fam- 
ilies can be supported on the portion already surveyed. 
Even on the driest lands, orchards and vineyards 
thrive without irrigation, while the size of therancho 
enables the purchaser to select his land with a view 
to some special line of cultivation, whether for cereals, 
alfalfa, or vegetables, for vines, or for citrus or other 
fruits. Estimating the profits at the average of $100 
per acre, and bearing in mind that there are thous- 
ands of acres of moist land that can be made imme- 
diately profitable — as by raising small fruits, alfalfa, 
or vegetable — it will be seen that the capabilities of 
the soil have not been exaggerated. Of vegetables 
there were grown on this farm, in 1891, the tomato, 
cabbage, potato, radish, and lettuce ; of fruits the 
orange, lemon, lime, apple, peach, nectarine, apricot, 
plum, pomegranite, quince, persimmon, blackberry, 
strawberry, raspberry, currant, cherry, and grape ; and 
if there be any other fruits than these, such as flour- 
ish in temperate and sub-tropical climes, then were 
they grown in the Chino orchards. 

On another portion of the rancho is the dairy farm, 
with 200 to 300 cows, and in the season a daily pro- 
duct of 100 pounds of butter. The De Laval cream 
separator is the one in use ; and here is perhaps the 


only dairy on the Pacific coast where marble slabs are 
used for fashioning the butter into shape. A feature of 
the dairy is the water wheel used for churning pur- 
poses, adjusted by Mr Gird himself; but as to the 
workings of this dairy I cannot do better than to quote 
the description furnished by one of his employes. ''As 
the cows are milked," he says, "the milkers walk up 
one pair of stairs and turn the milk into an iron vat, 
which leads into the separator. The arrangement of 
the separator is as follows : The milk as it comes 
from the cow is placed in the milk vat and delivered 
by means of faucets into the funnel at the top of the 
separator and through a small tube into the rotating 
vessel, which runs at a velocity of about 7,000 revo- 
lutions a minute. To the bottom of the vessel is 
soldered a thin wing, which forces the milk to follow 
the rotation of the vessel. As soon as the fresh 
milk enters the rotating vessel an instantaneous sep- 
aration takes place. The heavier portion, or the skim- 
milk, is thrown to the circumference, and forced up a 
bent tube, whence it is delivered through an aperture 
into the lower of two tin trays, or covers, which is 
provided with an outlet pipe. The cream remaining 
near the center arises around the outside of the funnel 
into which the milk was first introduced, and through 
a small slot in the cylindrical upper part of the rota- 
ting vessel into the upper tin cover, whence it is dis- 
charged through an outlet pipe. The opening of the 
upper part of the rotating vessel is regulated by 
means of a screw. To increase its speed the rotating 
vessel is mounted in such a manner that it acts on the 
same principle as the spinning-top. For this purpose, 
and in order to transmit by friction the rotation of 
the driving spindle, a wooden cup is inserted in the 
same, and the corresponding spherical end of the 
upper spindle rests in this cup. Around the neck of 
the upper spindle there is a bearing, surrounded by an 
elastic packing, which allows the spindle with its ves- 
sel when rotating to take its natural perpendicular 


position. Tlie milk is run out through a hose into a 
large trough into the calf pasture, and the calves get 
the milk while it is still warm. This separator is run 
twice a day ; it is only capable of separating for about 
300 cows, and we have seldom less than 200 cows 
in the dairy. For some tastes this separates the 
cream too quickly ; but it can easily be regulated so 
as to have the cream just a little sour. This is a 
Swiss invention, introduced in 1874." 

But perhaps the most interesting feature is the 
beet farm and sugar factory and refinery where the 
manufacture of beet sug^ar is conducted on a lartjer 
scale than elsewhere in the Tjnited States. Hitherto 
such ventures had been but moderately remunerative, 
as in the case of the Alvarado, Isleton, Los Angeles, 
Sequel and other factories, though in occasional years 
returning considerable profit. To keep such a mill in 
operation, it was said, during the season of twelve 
months, would require 50,000 tons of beets, at a cost 
($4.00 per ton) of $200,000, while the expenses of 
managrement would be so g-reat as to leave but a nar- 
row margin for profit and interest on capital. Such 
was the theory of the German manufacturers iu 
whose hands this industry was mainly centered, but 
it remained for Mr Gird to show that under improved 
methods and on a large scale this branch of enterprise 
was capable of vast development. 

In 1890 the Chino valley beet sugar company was 
oriranized under the direction of Mr Gird. In Auirust 
of the following year the plant was completed; and on 
the twentieth of that month the machinery was set 
in motion by Mrs Gird, who on this occasion delivered 
a speech, the neatness and brevity of which might 
well be imitated by those who preside at such cere- 
monies. " With the turning of this valve," she said, 
*' to start the machinery of this great industrial enter- 
prise, I now invoke upon it the kind auspices of good 
fortune. May prosperity and happiness attend the 
pathway of all interested or concerned in it, and may 


long and useful lives enable them to cnerish the mem- 
ory of this day." 

Though the control of the factory was assigned to 
the Oxiiard brothers, with Henry Oxnard as president 
of the company, to Mr Gird is due some valuable in- 
ventions and improvements conducive to the success of 
tlie enterprise. By him were fashioned the machines 
for sowing beets, and the wagons for collecting and de- 
livering them, each fitted with a derrick for hoisting 
the crates as they are filled, and by a simple but clever 
contrivance reversing them and discharging their con- 
tents. Each wagon was made to contain about three 
tons of beets, and when loaded the entire train was 
hauled by steam power to the mill, where it was but 
one man's work to unload it ; for the wagons w^ere 
perfectly balanced in the center, and by withdrawing 
a bolt could be emptied from the side with but slight 
expenditure of power. Thus, during the season of 1891 
were delivered to the factory, at the rate of one ton in 
two minutes, some 300 tons of beets a day The wagons 
were fitted with 13-inch tires, to prevent the wheels 
from sinking into the ground, and by the same traction 
engine by which they were drawn a dozen of the plows 
could be worked. Others of Mr Gird's inventions 
were a special plow for loosening the soil, and a knife 
for cutting the beets, preferred by all his workmen to 
the one before in use 

The saccharine qualities of the beets is tested b}^ an 
instrument called the polariscope. After being clar- 
ified to crystal clearness by the use of sub-acetate of 
lead, the juice is placed in a metal trough, and the 
degree of sweetness determined by the use of lenses, 
through the deflection of polarized rays of light. But 
the farmers are also permitted to make their own 
tests, apart from those of the factory, and for this pur- 
pose the services of a chemist, engaged at the expense 
of Mr Gird, are always at their disposal. Thus far 
both farmers and manufacturers are satisfied with 
the result ; and the company has been long enough 


in operation to dcnionstratG the tact that a new 
and permanent enterprise, one affording employ- 
ment to hundreds of farmers and operatives has 
been added to the industries of southern Cahfornia. 
Of the 6,000 acres of beets under cultivation 
in California in 1891, about 3,000 were on the 
Chino farm, 2,000 near Watsonvillc, and 1,000 near 
Alvarado. Here, at this date, were the only large 
beet-sugar factories on the Pacific coast. With a total 
capacity of 550 tons a day, it is probable that the 
Chino factory, which already makes nearly one-half 
of the beet sugar manufactured in California, will 
produce even yet more largely^ in the future. This 
factor}' is not only the largest but probably the best 
equipped in the United States, with a water supply 
from artesian wells, and with machinery of the most 
improved and recent pattern imported from Germany. 

A serious drawback tc the Chino estate is the ex- 
orbitant rates exacted by the Southern Pacific rail- 
road, preventing its owner from working the valuable 
mineral deposits with which it is lavishly supplied. 
On this land is a wide ledge of the finest grade of 
bituminous rock, which can be placed on the cars at 
$4.50 per ton; but at the prices demanded by the 
railroad company it can barely be shipped at a profit. 

In taking leave of the Chino farms it may be men- 
tioned that Mr Gird has expended more than 
$200,000 in boring artesian wells to a depth from 100 
to 900 feet, though as I have said much of the land is 
well supplied with natural moisture. In his exten- 
sive alfalfa fields, for instance, no irrigation is needed; 
and yet in some portions as many as six crops 
a year are produced. The entire estate consists 
of valley lands, and all of the choicest of the valley 
lands in southern California. On one of its fairest 
sites is a neat and tasteful family residence, near 
it an orchard of mulberry trees, with beds of chrysan- 
themums, forming one of the finest collections in the 
state ; and near to the orchard an artificial pond, cov- 


ered with white and colored hlies, planted by Mrs 
Gird, amono- whose characteristics is a love of all that 
is beautiful in nature. 

It was while attending school in San Francisco 
that Mrs Gird became acquainted wirh her future 
husband. She was but a young girl at the time, 
some twelve or thirteen years of age, and, as she 
relates, was indebted to him for assistance in prepar- 
inor her lessons. Mr Gird was then residing;; with 
his two sisters, one of whom was unmarried and the 
other the wife of H. B. Martin, in partnership with 
whom he was eno^asj-ed in the manufacture of machin- 
ery. The Gird marriage took place on the 3d of 
January 1880, at which date Mr Gird's fortune was 
assured, and in part already realized from the yield of 
the Tombstone mines. The first eighteen months of 
their married life were passed at Melville, Arizona, 
where were the quartz mill and reduction works, and 
these were among the happiest of their experience. 
The settlement was one of the most orderly in all the 
territory, and its peace and prosperity were undis- 
turbed b}^ the vice and dissipation, the drinking and 
gambling common to mining camps. 

Jeremiah McCarty was the name of Mrs Gird's 
father, and that of her mother, Nellie Currier. Mar- 
rying young, they settled in the township of Brewer, 
Maine, on the bank of the Penobscot river, the hus- 
band removing, soon after the gold discovery, to Cali- 
fornia. There he was followed, some years later, by 
his wife and twelve children, whom, however, he did 
not live to see, his decease occurring on the eve of 
their departure. He was not a wealthy man, but well 
to do, receiving a steady, if moderate income from his 
business of teaming and draying, to which he added 
at times that of ship-building. Among the vessels 
which he constructed was the Golden Rocket, with 
cabins specially prepared for the members of his fam- 
ily, who arrived on these shores after a six months' 


voyage round Cape Horn, bringing with them their 
furniture and supplies. 

Of Mrs Gird I may further state that her helpful 
hand is felt not only in the management of the house- 
hold, but at times in the affairs of the estate, so far at 
least as advice is concerned ; for she is thoroughly 
acquainted with the condition of the business, and in 
case of need could readily assume control. Yet there 
is nothing in her nature partaking of the masculine 
element; there are none whose tastes are more re- 
fined, or to whom have been granted in greater meas- 
ure the graces of womanhood. One thinu^ only is 
wanting at her home on the Chino farm, and that is 
the warmth and sunshine which only the presence of 
children can give, but whose place will in the end 
probably be filled by some great charity. 

At the age of fifty-five Mr Gird is still in the 
early autumn of life, and let us hope with many a 
long year of usefulness before him. His physique 
is that of a man to whom should be granted length 
of days, with a compact and sturdy frame, some five 
feet ten inches in height, and an a,verage weight of 
two hundred pounds. His hair is dark, but tinged 
w4th gray, and his eyes of a bluish cast, their ex- 
pression thoughtful and penetrating. In manner he 
is quiet and modest, without any trace of ostenta- 
tion, self-contained, and in himself a silent but power- 
ful force, steadily working out his ends in the face 
of obstacles that to men of more common mould seem 
insurmountable, with a courage and persistence that 
know not how to yield. He never lost confidence 
in himself, never lost faith in the ultimate result, 
however dark at times the prospect. No matter 
how adverse the conditions, he would carry his load 
of business cares such as to others would appear 
incredible, with calmness, with evenness of temper, 
such as becomes a strong man. Add to this his rare 
executive ability, and his facilities for planning and 
personal discretion, and v/e may understand how he 


can accomplish such tasks as would be deemed im- 
possible even by men who themselves are gifted, with 
no small powers. 

Throughout his career Mr Gird has been a stu- 
dent, a thorough investigator, probing to its core the 
question which occupied him, and never resting satis- 
fied until he had made himself master of the subject. 
As a mineralogist he has more than a local reputa- 
tion, with a thorough practical training and life-long 
study of this science. Taking in his hand a frag.iient 
of quartz, he will declare its quality with the nature 
of the ledge from which it was taken ; from a shovel- 
ful of earth he will determine the character of the 
soil whence it came, for what crops it is suited and 
what may be needed as fertilizers. As a naturalist 
he inquires into everything, seeks the why and 
wherefore, and his conclusions are seldom wrong, 
and always intelligent. He is essentially a progres- 
sive man, improving and developing his property as 
much from the public utility point of view as for advan- 
tage to himself. Purchasing a piece of machinery, 
for instance, he will make himself master of its 
principles, will consider where it can be improved 
and always experimenting, is ready to give a trial to 
whatever may promise improvement in methods of 
farming or manufacture. From youth a persistent 
reader, he has acquired a vast fund of information, 
and on the topics of the day, or of days gone by, 
there are few whose conversation possesses more of 
interest. He is, moreover, a deep thinker, and if his 
views are somewhat radical, especially on religious 
topics, they have at least the merit of originality. 
A man of strong attachments, he will stand by his 
friends to the last, often fighting to his own dis- 
advantage the battle of the weak against the strong 
For what he considers his rig;'hts he will also fisfht 
to the last, thouo^h willino;' to concede what is due to 
others at whatever cost to himself. Yet he is by 
no means an aggressive man ; rather is he a man of 


genial and social temperament, large-hearted, sym- 
pathetic, generous, and possessed of the finest sense 
of honor. 

Amonuf other characteristics is his remarkable cool- 


ness, as was instanced at the earthquake of 1868, the 
severest ever known in San Francisco Stronrx men 
ran panic-stricken into the street, and among them 
the employes of Mr Gird, to whom it seemed that 
the floor was giving way beneath them, while he him- 
self remained at his task, as thoug^h nothini^ unusual 
had happened. While working one day at his lathe, 
his thumb was cautrht in the runningr crear ; but 
though suffering the acutest pain, he quietly turned 
to one of his men and without movino; a muscle of 
his face, said, " Charles come here ; just turn it back 
while I get my thumb out." Still another instance 
of his composure was during a fire that occurred at 
the Chino mills in 1889, destroying the machine and 
blacksmith shops, the carriages, mowers, ploughs, and 
all the agricultural machines and implements. It 
was three o'clock in the morning, and the men were 
striving their utmost to save what they could from 
the flames ; but no risk of life would he permit, de- 
claring that the lives of his men were more valuable 
than all the property in the world. While others 
wept like children he showed not the least emotion. 
" Grieving will not bring back what is lost," he said ; 
''let us go home." And returning to the bed he had 
left, "in five minutes," says Mrs Gird, ''he was fast 
asleep." Awaking some two hours later, he set his 
men to work. Before noon a temporary building was 
erected, and within a few da^s scarcely a trace of the 
disaster remained 

To his careful ana strictly temperate habits he 
owes much of his success in life. At six in the morn- 
ing he is ready for his daily task, and at eight he 
retires, taking meanwhile a noontide siesta of an hour 
and a half. His diet is of the plainest, and he uses 
neither tobacco nor strong drink, except on rare occa- 


sions a single glass of wine. Often has he persuaded 
othersto abandon the habitofdrinking and smoking, and 
many are those who have thanked him for his advice, 
and received his approval for their abstinence and self- 
command. Except for a slight catarrhal affection his 
health is good, though suffering some few years ago 
from the effects of exposure and of unwholesome food 
and water during his early mining experience in Ari- 

All his life long he has been essentially a man of 
affairs, a man of his own affairs, giving little heed to 
the affairs of others, and still less to matters political. 
From office-holding ambition of any kind he is entirely 
free, refusing even the nomination for congress, or at 
least making no effort to secure it, when fairly within 
his reach. A member of the republican party, he 
was present at the convention whose choice fell on 
Benjamin Harrison, and later accepting the position 
of delegate, held some discourse w4th the man who is 
now at the helm of state ; but with that conversation 
as he relates, he was not very deeply impressed. 

And now let us hear Mr Gird's opinions as to poli- 
tical, economical, social, and other topics ; for in the 
views of one who has travelled so far and to such ex- 
cellent purpose, a man possessed, moreover, of the 
ripe experience acquired by fifty years of study and 
observation, we may hope to find something that is 
worth the hearing. And first of all as to the tariff. 
This he considers a twofold question, one involving two 
distinct propositions : first that of finance and revenue 
for the needs of the government, "which," as he re- 
marks, ** can be managed by any competent financier, 
and involves no question of principle to be handled by a 
philosophical statesman. The other is strictly a ques- 
tion of principle, comprising the obligations and finan- 
cial status of the nation. With nations, communities, 
and individuals, the same natural law of self-protection 
holds good. We have by conquest and inheritance 
come into possession of a vast virgin country, with its 


natural resources unimpaired, isolated from the older 
civilizations by two great oceans. We are neither 
hampered by the traditions nor weighed down by the 
necessity of maintaining ourselves to the full extent 
of our resources, against the physical aggressions of 
our neighbors. We are therefore in a position to 
carve out for ourselves a destiny among the nations, 
and this it is our duty to do ; but it cannot be done 
unless we take prompt and decisive measures to pro- 
tect ourselves against all those influences that are 
now dragging down the nations of the old world. 

" While separated geographically by the Pacific 
ocean from the ancient civilization of the Tartar and 
the Mongol, and by the Atlantic ocean from the more 
modern civilization of the Aryan-European races, still 
with our modern improvements in transportation and 
navigjation, these two oceans are but a neutral hio-h- 
way for the introduction of the peoples and products 
of those nations. Therefore if we do not wish to 
come down to the dead level and become a trap of 
those nations, with their corruption, misery, and mis- 
rule, we must erect a commercial barrier to protect 
ourselves, not only against their products, but also 
against the immigration to our shores of their disturb- 
ing and vicious elements. We should not only dic- 
tate as to what we are to purchase from abroad, but 
also as to who shall come from abroad to be citizens 
of this country. 

"Above all let us beware of commercial sfreatness. 
It begets the acme of human greed, and is the destruc- 
tion of patriotism, and of that intelligent interest in 
national affairs which should characterize the Ameri- 
can citizen. The lesson of history is that commercial 
prosperity is the forerunner of a nation's downfall. 
We cannot then be too careful to keep within our 
borders to the fullest extent possible our own financial 
and industrial resources ; for in them is our only hope 
of saving this young and prosperous nation for even a 
reasonable time from Qroin<jr down in the general crash 

C. B— III 8 


that awaits the nations of the old world. Policy in 
political exigency is not statesmanship. One twists and 
turns the exigencies of the present to suit the selfish re- 
quirements of the time ; while the other looks to the 
building up of a grand and stable national foundation, 
based upon the honesty, virtue, and prosperity of the 
people. To this end, from the recorded experiences of 
past nations we can deduce those principles that have 
been found most conducive to the stability, w^elfare, and 
prosperity of the nations that have preceded us, and by 
making a wise use of them, help to erect for the time 
and place in which we live an edifice of national 
prosperity, founded upon the true principles of human 
intelligence and action, 

" The question of the tariff involves one of commer- 
cial activity, which necessitates the exchange of com- 
modities. The position of the United States of Amer- 
ica is peculiarly that of an agricultural nation. The 
commodity, therefore, of which we have the greatest 
surplus, is the product of our extensive virgin soils, 
or of the life sustaining products. The grains which 
are produced in this country and shipped abroad per- 
manently impoverish our soil to that extent ; and in 
this exchange of the food producing elements of the 
soil for commodities from abroad, the balance is con- 
tinually against us, ijiasmuch as what we have taken 
from the soil never will or can be returned. The 
nation and the people are thus to that extent impov- 
erished for all time. The individual wlio plants himself 
on the virgin soil of our western plains or prairies, rais- 
ing wheat for foreign export without fertilization as 
long as the soil will produce the grain, is, in the com- 
munity in which he lives, the enemy of mankind. 
The importation of foreign products as the result of 
the non-protective policy, stimulates and increases 
this unnatural impoverishment of the country. 

"This is a phase of the tariff question which has 
never yet, to my knowledge, been taken int ) consid- 
eration by either the statesmen or financiers of this 


country, and in it lies a greater element of danger 
than in all other considerations to come. The des- 
erts left by the ancient civilizations of both the old 
world and the new, bear solemn and eloquent testi- 
mony to this fact. It is a lesson too well known to 
be repeated, that he who takes awa}'- from the soil 
must again return to it the elements that he takes 
away ; otherwise the soil soon fails to bring forth 
the products that have been grown upon it. The 
exclusiveness of the Chinese nation, and their ex- 
treme care in this respect, have enabled them to 
sustain an enormous population for these many thou- 
sands of years ; and if they are not the coming 
people of the world, they are certainly in such a con- 
dition of national vitality as to exist for many hun- 
dreds of years to come, principally because they have 
fostered economically the natural resources of their 
land. We as a people, on the contrary, have squand- 
ered with lavish hands. The result is, and will continue 
to be, that the older states, which in times past have 
produced an abundance of wheat for their own popu- 
lation as well as for export, must receive their bread- 
stuffs from the virgin states farther and farther west, 
whose soils will also soon be exhausted of their wheat- 
producing properties ; and before many decades have 
passed, wheaten bread will be a luxury in this land. 
Therefore by legislation, and by every other means 
that a powerful and patriarchal government can use, 
this result should as long as possible be deferred, if 
not entirely prevented. In extent of territory and 
diversity of climate we are a nation of such grand 
proportions that we can produce all our needs within 
ourselves. All that is necessary is for us to under- 
stand and accept this as a fact, and the result will 
be that we will be the most envied of the nations of 
the earth. It is not so much the amount that we in- 
dividually pay for what we require, as the amount that 
we are able to pay, that enables us to supply our wants 
with profit to the producer and without disaster to 


ourselves. The higher the prices of commodities and 
of tlie labor that produces them, the more prosperous 
will be all classes of the nation. That condition should 
always be the one that we should "strive for and main- 
tain. The only manner in which it can be done is to 
protect ourselves not only by a tariff sufficient for the 
needs of our government, but by a prohibitory tariff 
sufficient to shut out the products of those communi- 
ties where the necessaries of life compel them to labor 
for a pittance, and where the products are sold at a 
correspondingly low figure." 

As to the relations of capital and labor Mr Gird 
remarks : " One of the most troublesome, although 
not the most dangerous, of any of the questions of the 
hour, is the spread and influence of socialistic and com- 
munistic ideas. These agitations are not really of a dan- 
gerous character, because they run counter to an 
absolute and well-detined natural law, implanted in the 
human mind and character, namely, the principle and 
desire of individual accumulation of property and sub- 
stance. This desire can never be overthrown until, 
perhaps in the long distant future ages, the human race 
shall have outlived its natural barbaric conditions. The 
desire of individual s to accumulate and hold property is 
as positive and unchangeable as the instinct of ani- 
mals that have the same habits. Counter to and in 
opposition to this law, is the constant and unfailing 
desire of the human mind in its present transition 
state to acquire better and more happy social condi- 
tions. It is a sad reflection on the partial and imper- 
fect education of the people that what we call our 
highest education does not make people morally 
better. It may make them wiser and more powerful 
to control the forces of nature, but certainly not more 
moral in their tendencies. It may refine, but it does 
not eradicate. If we were not convinced that our 
present state of education is one-sided and partial, it 
would be a very discouraging outlook for the future; but 
we cannot but believe that when education shall mean 


a full development of the human faculties and forces, 
this will be changed, and that in its place will come a 
new and well-defined principle of morality, which will 
become a distinctive influence with the human race, 
making people both better a:id wiser. 

" The organization of either labor or capital to con- 
trol or fix the value of products is destined to be a 
lamentable failure. The law of supply and demand, 
however it may be strained or thwarted by combina- 
tions of capital or associations of labor, will and must 
eventually regulate all. This rule is as inexorable as 
the law of gravitation. Whatever inconvenience, 
whatever trouble and anxiety these combinations of 
capital and labor may cause, we may rest assured that 
they are only transitory, and are to be considered only 
as a phenomenon of society organizations. All asso- 
ciations of individuals, secret or otherwise, that have 
for their basis the control of their members in even 
the most limited, degree, are not only pernicious to 
the welfare of the community but dangerous to the 
government. The object of such organizations is to 
control members for selfish ends, destroying personal 
liberty of thought and action, to the detriment of 
those who do not associate with them in any way ; 
while at the same time it tends to destroy that per- 
sonal independence of thought and action that can 
exist only under conditions of perfect liberty, and to 
the exclusion of the laws of the land : and while it is 
only temporary in its effects, it must nevertheless be 
considered and controlled, as not only being a vio- 
lation of all natural law, but of any wise system of 
human reg^ulation." 

Mr Gird's opinions as to the proper sphere of gov- 
ernment, and the duties and responsibilities of citizens 
under it, are expressed by him as follows : " Aggre- 
gations of people called communities and nations can 
only exist by the adoption of regulations that we term 
laws, which control the conduct of each individual 
toward others. These reGculations should be based as 


nearly as possible upon the execution of the wisest 
interpretation of natural laws, supplemented by the 
most thorough aggregation of rules deduced from 
human experience. This control should be so abso- 
lute, unrelenting, and powerful, as to make it impossi- 
ble for even the most insignificant member of society 
to transgress ib. The tendency is and must be that 
this nation will not only increase its power to control, 
but also such a surveillance and insight into the daily 
actions of its citizens as will compel each person to 
respect the liberty of his fellow, and to control his 
own actions and affairs inside of that sentiment that 
' one man's liberty ends where another's begins.' The 
only results of these combinations of capital and labor 
which we have been considering will be a stricter 
interpretation of the law, and a sterner enforcement 
thereof We are fast approaching the time of police 
surveillance and standing armies. Indeed, it would 
be better if we now had a reasonably organized arm 
of the government to uphold the execution of the law, 
which has been so long defied that it is beginning to 
be looked upon with contempt. 

"In a republic, the duty of a minority is peacefully 
to submit, waiting the time when its principles, if 
they should prove right, shall be adopted. Mercy to 
a vicious minority is a sin against the commonwealth, 
an evidence of lack of governmental control, a proof 
of weakness or want of wisdom. 

" As a stream cannot rise above its source, so a 
government based upon the will of the people cannot 
be expected to be wiser and better than the best ex- 
pressions of that will. It is tlierefore all important 
that the standard of the individual citizen should be 
raised to the highest possible level of the general in- 
telligence of the time in which he lives. This consid- 
eration has been too much neglected in the past. It 
would seem wise and necessary that the standard of 
enfranchisement should be based upon an examination 
as to the qualifications of every individual who is to 


have a voice in the goTernment ; in order that those 
who are found possessed of the highest quaUfications 
may be entrusted with the guardianship of the future ; 
and so that each one who shall have been found 
worthy of enfranchisement shall be able proudly to 
say : * I am an American citizen/ There can be no 
valid reason at this stage of the republic for permit- 
ting any person born on a foreign soil to have any 
voice in the government. The best and wisest of 
Americans should rule America." 

Several of these ideas, especially the one of an 
aristocracy of merit, though seldom expressed, are 
worthy of consideration, especially at a period when 
an aristocracy of demerit appears to have its hands 
upon the reins of government, an aristocracy com- 
posed of the worst elements of the nation, together 
with the refuse and offscouring of many others. 

With regard to the subject of a revelation and of 
the principles of natural religion, Mr Gird holds 
agnostic opinions, as does so large and increasing a 
number of persons in these times. He says : "I am 
a religious sceptic because there is not proof enough, 
measured by the ordinary rules of evidence, to con- 
vince any untrammelled mind of the truth of the 
so-called revelations, miracles, and dogmas of the 
bible, and of the religious beliefs that have grown out 
of it. In view of the grand phenomena of nature, the 
idea of a personal God appears to me childish and 
ridiculous. To my mind there is absolutely no proof 
of the immortality of the soul ; there is absolutely no 
reason why men should be considered as exempt from 
those natural laws that govern the rest of animate 
and inanimate nature, with relation to which the idea 
of a carnal or spiritual resurrection is not only incon- 
ceivable, but revolting." 

Concerning Christ, and the practical results to the 
world to be expected from a conscientious following 
of the philosophy of life* he taught, Mr Gird also 
holds views that are seldom expressed, although they 


are perhaps held by more persons now-a-days than 
one would suspect : " If Christ were on earth to-day, 
living as he did and practising his teachings, he 
would be sent to an asylum as, to say the least, a 
monomaniac. The example of his daily life is as 
repugnant to the right standard of good citizenship 
as his philosophical teachings are to that of sound and 
effective morality." 

On sociological and philosophical questions his 
attitude is as follows: "Wisdom is the deduction 
through long ages of what human experience has 
tauQfht is best and rigjht, conformable to human 
necessities and natural requirements. The standard 
is constantly changing, as the results of experience 
accumulate. Its control of human affairs is the science 
of statesmanship. Our debt is to the past ; our duty 
to the future. Retrogression only comes from the 
degeneration of the people. The evolutionary law of 
the survival of the fittest must not be transgressed. 
On this shoal, strewn with the wrecks of the past 
nations and people, we are in danger of being driven. 
The law of heredity is ignored. But the race must 
be continued and improved by the best specimens of 
its members, or go backwards, — there is no standing 
still. Let us drop superstitious fallacy, and be gov- 
erned by the best interpretation of natural laws that 
recorded experience has thus far been able to formu- 
late, in order that the growth of national life may 
ripen into glorious manhood ; and at the same time let 
us be prepared for that inevitable decline that comes 
in the changes of time alike to all things, proud that 
we have existed as a grand example for nations yet 
to come." 

" With regard to the disposition of the insane : I 
am very radical on this point. I believe that the 
vicious, criminal, incompetent, idiotic, and all classes 
of people who are not a benefit to the community, but 
most decidedly a drag on social advancement, ought 
to be brought before a commission once a year from 


all parts of the country, and those that are decided to 
be incurably insane, criminally vicious, and inimical to 
the welfare of the whole community, ought to be put 
into a big scow and taken twenty leagues from shore 
and sank to the bottom of the Pacific ocean. I 
believe that this is a question of necessity, as the rate 
insanity is spreading in this country, especially in 
California, will render it necessary for the govern- 
ment to take some action of this sort. 

" I was a member of the insane commission, and I 
visited the Agnews' asylum where there are 500 
incurables, drivelling idiots, men whose condition it 
would be unfit to state in print. It was horrible. It 
is too cruel, it is inhuman, it is unnecessary^, to let such 
people live. It shocked me so that I resigned from 
the commission. When I suggested to the author- 
ities that they have a lethal chamber where these 
poor wrecks could be quietly put out of the way, they 
were so religious they were shocked, talked about 
their immortal souls, and all sucli bosh. I think those 
things are too degrading. We all know the pecul- 
iarity of these vicious and insane people is to breed 
faster than any other class. Higher minded people 
don't increase ; it is the vicious and degraded and 
immoral element that increases all the time. They 
should be taken before a commission, and then sent up 
to a central commission, having among them two 
superior judges and two doctors of undoubted pro- 
bity and skill, and when this latter commission has 
passed upon them, their lamp should be quietly put 

The negro question Mr Gird considers as by no 
means settled, and that in this direction we have still 
to suffer the penalty of our sins. He has faith in the 
doctrine of retribution, and believes that at some not 
distant day we must pay dearly for our treatment of 
the black race. We were wrong, he thinks, in plac- 
ing the suffrage in their hands, thus giving them a 
weapon which they can readily turn against us. " I 


was myself an abolitionist," he says, " and so was my 
father before me ; but I never believed in making 
free citizens of an oppressed and alien race, who- were 
also dwellers in our midst. We had at the time an 
opportunity of getting rid of them forever, but we 
missed it. We should have taken our war-transports 
and every other vessel that could be spared, put them 
on board and shipped them back to Africa, or landed 
them in some suitable country, and stood guardians 
over them until they were capable of self-government. 
In a word we should have let them work out their 
own salvation. As matters are now ; either we or 
our children must suffer the consequences, for sooner 
or later the negroes will surely turn on their oppres- 

To such frequent changes of administration as are 
required by the provisions of our constitution, with 
attendant changes in the civil service, Mr Gird is 
strongly opposed. Such a policy, he thinks, is in every 
way demoralizing, first of all allowing them to remain 
in office barely long enough to learn their business ; 
then encouraging them to steal, an art' which the 
average American is never slow to acquire ; and final- 
ly increasing the tendency, already too strongly 
marked among our people, to become what he terms 
" intelligently corrupt." Far better even were the 
English system, apart from its shred of monarchy, its 
peers, its princes, and its paupers, and its frightful 
incubus of debt. Here the civil servant enjoys a life 
position, subject only to good behavior, with sure if 
slow promotion, and the certain prospect of a pension 
after a stated term of service. In the administration, 
changes can only be made at the will of the people, 
as expressed by their representatives in parliament, 
— that is through the defeat on some decisive meas- 
ure of the party before in power. 

But apart from political considerations Mr Gird is 
somewhat of an optimist as to the future of his 
country, and especially of the portion which has 


become his adopted home. In California, and 
especially in southern California, can be raised in 
abundance, and of excellent quality, all the fruits that 
thrive in temperate and sub tropical zones. With the 
world for a customer there is no practical limit to the 
demand, and certainly there is none to the supply, 
though the latter is here and there curtailed by para- 
sites destructive to orchard and vineyard. A few years 
ago southern California was considered worthless as a 
producer of cereals ; it is now a large exporter of cere- 
alsj and with resources in other directions, both mineral 
and agricultural, unsurpassed by any portion of the 
broad domain subdued to civilization on these Pacific 

And now we must take our leave of him who 
has contributed so largely to measures conducive 
to the prosperity of southern California the unfold- 
ing of her resources, the development of her man- 
ufacturing capabilities. His career has indeed been 
an instructive one, and as interesting as instruc- 
tive. Beginning life without other advantages than 
a good education, and physical, moral, and mental 
qualities accjuired by inheritance and training, he has 
won his way to a foremost rank among the citizens of 
our western commonwealth. But not without many 
a bitter struggle, many a sore disappointment was this 
success achieved. At the age of forty we find him, 
after a quarter of a century of unrequited toil, pro- 
specting amid the wilds of Arizona, with barely a 
thousand dollars in his possession. A few years later, 
through one of those chances which fortune strews in 
the path of her favorites, he became rich beyond the 
wildest dreams of his ambition. And yet in this 
instance it cannot be said that riches came, as to some 
of our millionaires, through the accident of stumbling 
across a bonanza. Rathe were they the result of 
years of laboriou and persistent striving, joined with 
the belief that here in this Arizona desert would 
finally be unearthed the treasures that had so long 


eluded him. And more than all this is the use that 
he made of this treasure, not risking it in other min- 
ing ventures, nor on the hazard of* speculation, but 
purchasing a broad estate, as a homestead not only 
for himself, but for thousands of incoming families. 
Here he planted orchards and vineyards ; here he 
dug wells by the score, furnishing a thorough system 
of irrigation ; here he built roads and railroads ; 
founded a thriving settlement, and established the 
largest sugar factory and refinery in the United States. 
To such men is due the transformation of southern 
California from a mere cattle range into the fairest 
garden spot on all these fair western shores. 





Talent and Opportunity a3 Agencies of Success — Ancestry — Early 
Surroundings — Education — Practice of Law — Marriage — Enter- 
prise AT Port Burwkll — Experimental Farming in California- 
Death of Mrs. Freeman — Characteristics 

The idea extensively prevails, especially among 
those who have achieved bat little in the world, that 
successes result from fortuitous conditions. Environ- 
ment may retard or accelerate achievement, but sur- 
roundings do not supply a man with the talents which 
enable him to acquire wealth or gain eminence in his 
pursuit. Opulence is sometimes derived through heir- 
ship or other accidental circumstance, and prominence 
may result from unusual influences, such as abnormal 
popular action, but real merit and substantial successes 
in any held are the products of adequate abilities and 
appropriate exertions. 

In the old world, caste and class distinctions recog- 
nized and enforced by law and social customs operate 
as a restraint upon the exertion of natural faculties by 
the disfavored, but in America, where men are free and 
untrammelled, it may be regarded as a rule thatachieve- 
ments may be taken as the measure of abilities. In 
the abstract, it is not easy to determine which is great- 
est — the statesman, scientist, litterateur, merchant, 
mechanic, or agriculturist. It has been said with truth 
that he who causes two blades of grass to grow where 
before there had been but one is a benefactor to the 
human race. Superiority must be awarded on the basis 
of blessings conferred on the world, whatever may have 



been the avocation. Judgment will be formed of those 
with whom we come in contact from their works. 

Daniel Freeman was born June 30, 1837, in the 
county of Norfolk, province of Ontario, British Amer- 
ica. On the paternal side he is descended from an old 
English family of good repute. On the mother's side his 
ancestry were French, Irish, and Scotch. The mater- 
nal grandfather was descended from a distinguished 
Huguenot family, who fled from France during the 
persecution of that body by Charles IX., and settled 
in the north of Ireland. The maternal grandmother 
was a scion of the famous Scotch families of Dunbar 
and McFadden. The Baileys were strong intellec- 
tually, and possessed forcible characteristics. Both 
families in America were highly religious, and cooper- 
ated with that forcible, aggressive, and courageous 
element organized and built up by the immortal John 
Wesley. Reverend Daniel Freeman, the paternal, 
and Beverend John Bailey, the maternal, grandfather, 
were prominent and effective ministers in the Meth- 
odist church. 

The arcestors of Daniel Freeman came from Dev- 
onshire, England, and were among the early emigrants 
to America. Samuel Freeman came to America in 
1630, with Governor Winthrop, "the father of the 
Massachusetts Colony." Five years later his brother 
Edmund Freeman, and several other members of the 
family, came over in the ship Abigail. 

Mr Lewis, in his History of Lynn, says: "This year 
[1635] many new inhabitants appear in Lynn, and 
among them worthy of note Mr Edmund Freeman, 
who presented to the Colony twenty corsletts, or pieces 
of plate armor." 

Governor Hutchinson, in his History of Massachu- 
setts Bay, makes prominent mention of Mr Edmund 
Freeman and fifteen others as " the founders of the 
colony of New Plymouth, the settlement of which 
colony occasioned the settlement of Massachusetts 
Bay, which was the source of all the other colonies of 


New England "; and he adds : " I am not preserving 
from oblivion the names of heroes whose chief merit 
is the overthrow of cities, provinces, and empires ; but 
the names of the founders of a flourishing town and 
colony, if not the whole British empire in America." 
Both of the sons of Edmund Freeman married dauoh- 
ters of Governor Prince, who was governor of Plym- 
outh colony for more than twenty years. 

The public records of Great Britain show that 
many of the Freeman family became judges, and offi- 
cers both in the British navy and army. In Amer- 
ica, especially in the early and trying days of the New 
England colonies, we find their descendants fighting 
for the cause of liberty and independence, and holding 
high offices, both in the senate and on the bench. 

Major John Freeman took an active part in the 
Indian wars of the middle of the 17th century, and 
was assistant to the governor for many years, and 
judge of the court of common pleas. Captains 
Joshua, Joseph, and Watson Freeman, and Lieutenant 
Edmund Freeman, are spoken of in the early histories 
of New England as men worthy of honorable mention. 

Colonel Edmund Freeman commanded a company 
in the revolutionary war, and was present at the sur- 
render of Burgoyne. 

Henry Prentiss, who was one of the memorable 
" Boston Tea Party," was a son-in-law of Jonathan 

Honorable Solomon Freeman, who died in 1808, was 
at the time of his death a senator, having represented 
his county twenty years, and having also been for many 
years a judge of the common pleas. Honorable Na- 
thaniel Freeman, who died in 1827, was for twelve 
years a brigadier-general in the militia, and for thirty- 
six years a judge of the court of common pleas, and 
was a prominent member of the Massachusetts con- 
gress in the memorable year 1775. Honorable Jona- 
than Freeman was a member of the United States 
congress from 1797 to 1801. 


Honorable Russel Freeman was a member of tLe 
state council, and in 1797 speaker of the house of rep- 

Honorable Enoch Freeman, born in 170G, was a 
prominent citizen of Falmouth. He was judge of the 
common pleas for twenty-nine years, and judge of pro- 
bate for thirteen years. 

Honorable Samuel Freeman, son of Enoch, was 
secretary to the provincial congress 1775, and was 
judge of the superior court for many years. 

Andrew Freeman, the great grandfather of Daniel 
Freeman, settled in Woodbridge, New Jersey, but 
afterwards moved with his family to Wj^oming, 
Pennsylvania. Many tribes of hostile Indians still 
roamed over this part of Pennsylvania, and shortly 
after Mr Freeman had settled there the village was 
attacked by them, and the villagers narrowly escaped 
being massacred. Mr Freeman was absent at the 
time of the attack, but returned just as the Indians 
were retreating, and only reached the shelter of the 
block-house after a hand-to-hand fight with them. 
The hostility of the savages compelled the white 
people to abandon their settlement at Wyoming, and 
nearly all of them, including the Freeman family, 
moved to Hope, in Warren county, New Jersey. 

Daniel Freeman, the grandfather, was born on the 
21st day of October, 1769. He was married early 
in life to Phebe Swayze, the daughter of "Squire" 
Swayze, who was a prominent citizen of Hope, and 
many of whose descendants are to be found in New 
Jersey. He was educated for the ministry, and in 
1797 was sent by the Baltimore Methodist conference 
to the "Niagara District" in Canada. He settled at 
Long Point, in Norfolk county, near the north shore of 
Lake Erie, and built there the first Methodist church 
that was erected in Canada West. His district in- 
cluded all of Canada lying between the Niagara and 
the Detroit rivers, and his duty called him to travel 
and preach over this immense stretch of country. He 


preached the first sermon ever preached by a Protes- 
tant clergyman in Detroit. During the early years 
of his ministry western Canada was still inhabited by 
many tribes of Indians, and settlements of white peo- 
ple were few and far between. He frequently had to 
ride sixty miles in a day to reach a white man's house 
for shelter for the night. Nearly all the Indians were 
friendly, and when they came to know him, trusted 
and venerated him. They frequently requested him 
to act for them when they wished to apply to the 
Canadian government for relief or supplies. 

The name of the father was Daniel Wesley. Daniel, 
as it appears, is a favorite name; three successive 
generations have borne it. Its biblical derivation 
indicates the religious characteristics of the familv. 
The father was a farmer, stalwart in virtue, possess- 
ing strong intellectual powers, a friend of education, 
and for many years was superintendent of schools in 
his county. He was industrious and thrifty, and 
aided his children in acquiring an education as liber- 
ally as was in his power, and especially devoted him- 
self to their moral and religious traininsf. The hiofh 
character which all his children have maintained is a 
tribute to his teachings and example. His son Daniel 
was a tall slender boy, but healthy, vivacious, humor- 
ous and fond of innocent mischief. He worked on the 
farm as do all farmer's sons, acquiring the theory and 
practice of all kinds of work. This toughened his 
constitution and made him lithe and sinewy. He was 
combative, nob viciously, but just enough to strengthen 
him for a successful battle in life. The germs of 
power were born in him and his early experiences 
were well calculated to develop them. He was gifted 
with an acute sense of justice, and was generous and 
self-abnegating in spirit, and though in a sense not pre- 
cocious, he learned rapidly, had a retentive memory 
and a mind of marked grasp and comprehensiveness. 

It is not a matter of wonder that his pious and 
observant grandfathers should have singled him out 
to follow in their footsteps. They thought they saw 

C. B.-III. 9 


in him the very elements which fitted him for their 
calling. In these practical times there is less ten- 
dency to arbitrarily select professions for sons than 
formerly, without consulting their tastes and adapta- 
bilities. If the wishes of tlie grandfathers had been 
followed, it is not to be inferred from what has been 
said that Daniel Freeman would not have developed 
into a power in the pulpit, but his tastes were in 
another direction and though he undoubtedlv would 
have done an immense service to the world in clerical 
occupation, still his achievements in other fields have 
not been barren of benefits to mankind. Perhaps he 
has accomplished more of real good than if he had 
devoted his life wholly to ministerial labors. The 
wants and interests of the human family require work 
in many fields, and he who chooses an avocation 
according to his taste, and to which he is best 
adapted, performs the highest service to the world. 

Until he was fifteen years old the educational 
advantages of young Freeman were such as the neigh- 
boring schools afforded. At that age he was sent to 
Lynn Grove academy, where he studied Latin and 
the higher mathematics. His position was in the 
very front of his classes. Being occasionally assigned 
to hear recitations in the place of the tutor, he 
acquired a taste for teaching, and was inclined to 
choose it for a profession. To many it is quite as 
agreeable to impart as to acquire knowledge, and 
young Freeman delighted in both. As soon as he 
grew into a realization of the grasp and strength of 
his mental powers, he began to fully consider the occu- 
pation he would follow. Like all aspiring young men 
he turned his thoughts to the various professions, and 
the adaptability of his genius. To those of self-reliant 
spirit, combative disposition, and strength of mind the 
profession of law is the most attractive, and sugges- 
tive of pecuniary reward and honorable preferment. 
He resolved to be a lawyer, but he was without 
money, and through the general depression of the 


times farming had proved uiiremunerative, and his 
father had become so embarrassed that he was unable 
to supply the money to defray the expenses of his 
legal education. He had a resource, however, which 
did not fail him. He had studied so diligently for the 
opportunities he had enjoyed, that he was abundantly 
equipped for teaching. Obtaining a certificate of the 
higjliest character at the agje of eig^hteen, he followed 
that calling for three years with success, and managed 
to save money enough to enter upon the study of his 
cherished profession. 

At his majority he was articled for five years to 
a distant relative, S. B. Freeman, Q. C, a prominent 
lawyer in Hamilton, Ontario, in whose office he made 
a conquest of all the branches of the law, and attended 
lectures in Osgoode Hall, a government law institu- 
tion. At the age of twenty-six the degree of bar- 
rister-at-law was conferred on him by the university, 
which was the highest within its authority. Mr 
Freeman immediately opened an office at Simcoe. 
His reading had been so thorough, and his judgment 
and business abilities had been so early made conspic- 
uous that he rapily gained a lucrative practice. Later 
he entered into partnership with Colonel D. Tisdale, 
Q. C. M. P., w^ho stood high in his profession and in 
popular estimation. That so young a practitioner 
was able to form connections so favorable is the best 
proof of his personal merits and professional attain- 
ments. With his early professional earnings he paid 
off and caused to be discharged a mortgage on his 
father's farm amounting to several thousand dollars, 
and according to scriptural rule his life should be long 
on earth because he not only honored his parent but 
relieved him from trouble and anxiety. 

When Mr Freeman had attained a reasonable com- 
petence and status at the bar, so that he felt confident 
that he could properly support a family, he married 
Miss Grace Christie, daughter of Captain John 
Christie of the royal navy, which event took place in 


June 1866. Her father had deceased while she was 
still a minor, and during her wardship the estate left 
by him had been badly managed. To correct this 
and save as much as possible became the duty of Mr ' 
Freeman. His excellent sense and legal knowledge 
adapted him to such a task, and he accomplished all 
that was possible under the circumstances. 

Mr Freeman's professional work was incessant and 
necessarily^ confined him closely to his office. Though 
possessing a good deal of endurance, his labors and 
confinement had a deleterious effect upon his health, 
and threatened to permanently impair his constitu- 
tional vigor. Beyond this he was a man of observa- 
tion, and strongly inclined to engage in business 
connected with material development. The country 
had great natural resources, especially in timber suit- 
able for ship-building, and all kinds of lumber. The 
people in many localities were listless, without enter- 
prise, and seemed not to realize the possibilities of the 
country. The situation was clear to the penetrating 
mind of Mr Freeman, and he resolved to enorage in 
what was conducive to health and congenial, and 
which promised handsome rewards. In 1868 he 
removed to Port Burwell on Lake Erie, and began to 
improve the harbor and make it more useful for com- 
merce. He also established a shipyard and built a 
sawmill. The somnolence of the people disappeared 
under the enterprising example of Mr Freeman, and 
through the avenues of industry that were opened to 
them. The ships built in his yard were of excellent 
quality and brought the highest prices in the market, 
and his sawmill supplied lumber to Port Burwell and 
the surrounding country. He also engaged in getting 
out bo2f-iron ore with some Americans for a time. 
He kept the country alive with the mdustries he had 

He continued in these various pursuits for a period 
of about five j'^ears, serving for a time as a member of 
the county council, and having been frequently called 


by the district judge to preside over the courts. At 
the age of thirty-five he had advanced far on the road 
to pecuniary fortune, and had acquired such a stand- 
ing, if he had so desired, tliat high pohtical prefer- 
ment was within his grasp. 

Though Mr Freeman's successes were so flattering, 
he was more greatly blest in his domestic relations. 
Mrs Freeman was a woman of personal charms, 
exalted * virtues, and made her home a model for 
domestic happiness. His active and successful career 
in the land of his birth was destined to a speedy ter- 
mination from a cause over which he had no control, 
and which cast a dark shadow over his otherwise 
happy existence. In one of her customary visits of 
charity among the poor, the weather being extremely 
severe, Mrs Freeman contracted a cold which settled 
on her lungs and rapidly developed into consumption. 
The best treatment and care in that inhospitable cli- 
mate had no effect in removing or mitigating the mal- 
ady. Mr Freeman sacrificed pecuniary interests and 
personal comforts in efforts to restore his wife to health, 
and in the hope that a milder climate would prove an 
antidote, he travelled with his family in the southern 
states of the American union in the winter of 1872. 
He contemplated a trip to Jamaica, and while on the 
railroad cars going from Macon to Atlanta, Georgia, 
he obtained from a newsboy NordhofTs book on Cali- 
fornia, which contained a chapter on "California for 
Invalids." The statements of the author so interested 
him that he resolved to remove to the Pacific coast, 
and in January 1873 he arrived in San Francisco with 
his wife and family. 

It is characteristic of Mr Freeman to investigate 
carefully and thoroughly before arriving at a final 
conclusion. Thinkiny: well of California from first 
appearances, and being more and more favorably 
impressed as his knowledge of the country increased, 
and though intending to take up permanent abode in 
the state he would not decide where he would locate 


until he had made a personal examination. He trav- 
elled extensively over the state, and especially in the 
southern part. On the fullest investigation and 
reflection he resolved to make Los Angeles county 
his home, convinced as he was of the unsurpassed fer- 
tility of the soil and of the immense resources which 
were susceptible of bemg developed into wealth. He 
reached this conclusion with no experience or statis- 
tics to aid him, for the country was a vast pasture for 
sheep and cattle, and almost in the condition it had 
been made by nature. Few crops were raised, and 
the people purchased much the larger part of what they 
consumed from abroad. The country was deemed too 
drv for the raising of vegetables and cereals, and even 
of fruits, except grapes, the culture of which had been 
introduced by the early missionary fathers. Markets 
w^ere meagre, as there were no rail connections with 
the north or east. The tread of the herdsman was 
almost the only sound of industry in the land. 

Mr Freeman's early training and experiences on a 
farm were of great service to him. His observations 
and philosophy induced him to believe that the cereals 
could be raised without irrigation. His views were 
strenuously combated by the oldest inhabitants. He 
resolved to demonstrate their correctness by experi- 
ment. He leased for a term of five years from Sir Rob- 
ert Burnett,a Scotch baronet, the now celebrated rancho 
whose Spanish name was Aguaje de la Centinela, or 
Spring of the Sentinel, so called on account of the 
high and conmianding view from the spring, and also 
Sausal Redondo or the round willow grove rancho. 
These ranchos are embraced in the limits of two Mex- 
ican grants, confirmed under the treaty of Guadalupe 
Hidalgo, and patented by the United States. They 
contain a little more than twenty-five thousand acres, 
one-half of which is flat mesa watered by the Centi- 
nela spring, and the other is high and rolling. 
Removing his family to an adobe house of the better 
class, erected on the rancho iu 1804, Mr Freeman 


devoted himself to fruit-growing and experimental 
farming. In 1874 he planted orange seeds, and after- 
ward set out 7,000 orange trees, 2,000 almond, 1,800 
lemon, 400 lime, and 300 olive, and an assortment of 
deciduous fruit trees. They were set out on about 
one hundred and eighty acres, which was laid out in 
squares with streets crossing each other at right 
angles, and ornamented and shaded by eucalyptus and 
pepper trees. He combined the beautiful with the 
useful, and waited from six to nine years for the 
orchard to arrive at a bearing condition. 

The salubrity of the California climate failed to 
restore Mrs Freeman to health or to prolong her life, 
nor could the best treatment and care arrest the rav- 
ages of her direful malady. She deceased in Novem- 
ber 1874, leaving three young children for her now 
disconsolate husband to rear. How w^ell he has dis- 
charged that duty will be referred to in the sequel. 

Mr Freeman never ceased to impress upon the bar- 
onet his opinion that the most profitable thing to do 
was to grow grain, and that this could be successfully 
done without irrigation. Sir Robert dissuaded him on 
all occasions, and advised sheep-raising, and Mr Free- 
man, not without misgivings, followed his advice. The 
result v^as that in 1876, it having been a dry season, 
14,000 sheep perished from starvation. This disaster 
determined Mr Freeman to embark in raising cereals, 
and in the same winter he sowed 640 acres to barley, 
and though but four and one-half inches of water fell 
that season, the yield was twenty -five bushels to the 
acre. He continued to increase the acreage in grain, 
and in 1880 it amounted to 3,000 in barle}', an equal 
acreage in wheat, and one hundred acres in flax. He 
also had fifteen thousand sheep of the Southdown 
breed on the rancho, and there was no starvation, 
because the rancho was made to produce sufficient 
food for the animals as well as the men. Thereafter 
the rancho was nearl}^ all cultivated by Mr Freeman 
and his tenants, with satisfactory profits to all. . In 


1883 the product of grain was more than three hun- 
dred thousand, and hi 1884 about a milUonof bushels. 
"The sio-ht of these broad acres was somethintr not 
to be forgotten. From points on the Centinelathe 
whole of the two ranchos could be viewed at once, a 
sea of waving grain, the deep green of the wheat 
shading off into the golden tints of the barley, and all 
waving in billows responsive to the rhythmic breezes 
from that other sea close at hand, the blue Pacific." 

The fame of Mr Freeman's operations spread over 
a wide extent, and his successes stimulated similar 
efforts in all directions. Cereal productions speedily 
became immensely enhanced in Los Angeles county, 
and the people ever since have been growing in 
knowledge of the possibilities and adaptabilities of 
the country. The advent of railroads into Los 
Angeles, and their construction to eastern connections, 
gave further impetus to fruit and farming industries. 

It is related as a historical fact that in the early 
period of the reign of Augustus agriculture in Italy 
had so languished from want of interest and from 
neglect that the people were in imminent danger of 
starvation. The situation was so alarminoj as to attract 
the profoundest attention of the Emperor and his 
advisers. Virgil had achieved considerable celebrity 
as a poet and litterateur, and Maecenas suggested that 
he be requested to write on the subject of agriculture. 
AVhen invited by the emperor, he composed and pub- 
lished his Georgics, which were so instructive and 
popular with the people that they had the effect to 
arouse the farmers to a return to that energy and 
industry which had distinguished their class in past 
generations, and had made Italy a land of plenty. 
Mr Freeman has not written Georgics, but he was 
the pioneer in demonstrating the capabilities of the 
country, and has induced others to copy his example 
to such an extent that agriculture and fruit produc- 
tions have largely increased in southern California. 

The lease from Sir Robert Burnett g^dve Mr Free- 



man the option of purchase at the expiration of the 
term; but before the five years had elapsed he had 
bought the entire rancho for six dollars an acre. The 
rancho is a domain in area, and has been made famous 
for productiveness under Mr Freeman's management. 
In 1886 he sold about one-half of it to a Los Angeles 
company for twenty-five dollars an acre, and in 1887 
he sold about eleven thousand acres for one hundred 
and twenty-five dollars per acre and two-fifths of any 
profits that might be made through its subdivision 
and sale. The purchasing company has platted a town- 
cite which embraces nearly a thousand acres, and 
includes the grove or orchard. The name of the 
town is Inglewood, through which the California 
Central railroad runs from Los Angeles to Redondo 
beach, and at Inglewood a branch also extends to 
Ballona harbor. A large sum of money is being 
expended to make Redondo beach a shipping point 
and summer resort. Inglewood lies midway between 
Los Angeles and the ocean, and has the full benefit 
of the sea air. The scenery is grand and charming. 
It is in the midst of a broad, undulating country, 
from which the ocean, Catalina island, and Los 
Angeles are visible. The Coast and Sierra Madre 
ranges appear like vast cloud banks in the northeast- 
ern sky, and in the distance the peaks of San Ber- 
nardino and San Jacinto look as if Pelion had been 
piled on Ossa. The outflow of purest water of the 
Centinela spring is a million gallons daily, and with 
little expense it may be quadrupled. The orchard, 
as it is called, is one of the most attractive groves in 
the country. Mr Freeman has erected a commodious 
residence at Inglewood at a laro^e cost. It stands on 
an eminence from which the country may be viewed 
in all directions and for a great distance. The struc- 
ture is convenient, solid, and tasteful, and is such aa 
those acquainted with Mr Freeman would expect. 
It is a reflex of his mind and character. 

Mr Freeman appreciates the value of education, 


and loses no opportunity to promote it in all practi- 
cable ways. He has made a princely donation to tiie 
university of southern California for the benefit of the 
Freeman College of Applied Sciences which is in pro- 
cess of construction at Inglewood. The precise value 
of the donation cannot be determined until the lands 
are sold and converted into money. It is certainly 
sufficient to erect the college buildings, and to also 
leave to the institution a handsome endowment The 
ranclio, except that part which has been sold off in 
town lots and acreage tracts, is still cultivated under 
an arrangement with the purchasing company, and 
under the supervision of Mr Freeman. He is greatly 
interested in the growth and prosperity of Inglewood, 
as it is his home, and built upon the rancho wliich he 
developed into so much importance. He has expended 
a large sum of money there in constructing a brick 
kiln under a patent for continuous and economical 
burninof, in which a considerable number of men are 
employed, and from which he expects to supply brick 
to Los Angeles and the surrounding country. Mr 
Freeman is a believer in industries, and promotes 
them whenever he can. He has accumulated a large 
fortune through good judgment, foresight, and wise 
management. That his property advanced immensely 
in price resulted from the fact that population has 
rapidly increased in the country. It was not luck 
that it was so: he, like other pioneer investors, had 
the ability to see what the future would inevitably 
bring forth. 

Mr Freeman has three children, Archibald Christie, 
born March 14, 1867, Charles, born September 4, 
1868, and Grace, born January 30, 1870, all being 
offspring of the deceased wife. His children, for the 
most part, have been instructed at home by the best 
attainable private teachers. They have been well 
educated and reai'ed. They have good manners, are 
unostentatious, and respectful to parent, each other, 
and to all with whom they come in contact. The 


sons have no bad habits, and are industrious, and 
instructed in business affairs. The oldest is a civil 
and railroad engineer by education, but at twenty-one 
he was given the active management of the rancho, 
and has conducted its affairs with remarkable success 
for one of his years. The youngest has until the 
present time devoted himself to his studies, but 
recently has been acting as his father's assistant. The 
daughter is a lady of charming modesty and attrac- 
tive manners, and has recently married Mr Charles 
H. Howland, C. E., an estimable young gentleman 
who holds the position of her father's private secre- 
tary. Mr Freeman's home is a model for hospitality, 
that free and generous hospitality which characterizes 
the affluent gentleman. He has a wide circle of 
acquaintances and friends, social and business. He 
was one of the originators, and is the president of the 
California club, whose membership comprises the 
best men in Los Angeles, and is an honor to the city. 
Mr Freeman is by no means a bon vivant, but lives 
generousl}", and enjoys the society of his friends, has 
a fondness for real humor, but indulges in no inele- 
gant witticisms. He is a busy man, and has no time 
to spend in frivolous sociability. His mind is disci- 
plined, and he can turn from one thing to another in 
the transaction of business without confusion or dan- 
ger of incorrectness. His phrenological developments 
indicate quick perceptions and profound reflection, 
and his legal training and varied business experiences 
have developed the natural logical characteristics of 
his mind. He is a man of extensive reading and 
general information. There is nothing shoddy about 
him, nor is he romantic, but is a lover of the grand in 
nature and the real in art. His character for integ- 
rity is without stain. He is beneficent to the poor, 
and generous to his employees. He has no bad hab- 
its, and has not departed from the rigid morality of 
his early teachings. Such a man is necessarily widely 
known and extensively influential ; bis purse is open 


to promote every good cause, and to give Impetus to 
every enterprise calculated to build up the country. 
Unlike too many of our active and absorbed men, lie 
has made himself known to his children, and impressed 
his character upon them. His height is six feet two 
inches, and he is well proportioned, his eyes are blue, 
and his complexion ruddy, his hair is dark, and 
sprinkled with gray. He has great force and deter- 
mination, is genial in manner, and altogether is such 
a man as would impress himself upon any intelligent 
community. Possessing robust health and a strong 
constitution, a lono- and useful life seems vouchsafed 
to hnn. 


^r.g'^Ly HB.Hairs Sons, 11 Y. 




Horticulture ix California — Incidents of Youthful Struoole— Labor 
AND Confidence in Self^Varied and Striking Experiences — Move 
to California — Marriage — A Napoi,eon in the Acquii-ition of Acres 
— Original Business Methods — Scientific Horticulture — Evolu- 
tion of the Great Fruit Industry — What Faith and Work Can Do. 

The progress of California has been particularly 
pronounced in the direction of horticulture. A com- 
parison might be made to- justify this statement, but 
such a parallel would require a complex and perhaps 
not altogether profitable study of statistics. Its 
utility is doubtful-, at all events, as it is my purpose 
to set forth to the best of my ability the essential 
facts regarding each department. These should speak 
plainly enough for themselves. But judging fairly 
and conservatively of the future by the past, I see that 
though very much has been accomplished in horti- 
culture, it is an industry of indefinite expansion. In 
the order of events gold reigned; then there were 
cattle kings, and then grain held sway upon ranchos 
measured by the league. Later the energy of men in 
these avocations has been more and more diverted. The 
growth of the olive and the vine — the fruit of almost 
every zone being at home in this state — has encroached 
upon other products, subduing ever with substantial 
effect. Among the chief factors in this development 
is Augustus Timothy Hatch. 

There are so many several -sided persons in every 
community that it is. refreshing now and then to meet 

( 141 ) 


with one who is genuine throughout, who sets not 
apart Monday for moraUty, Wednesday for honesty, 
and Sunday for sanctimony, but who is the same 
w^hatever the conditions. Such will be the rule in 
society, rather than the exception, only when nature 
has evolved and perfected a system of ethics which 
shall more full}^ supersede traditional morality, and 
the reign of common-sense becomes supreme. 

While Chicago was yet Fort Dearborn, and South 
Bend but a small village, Elkhart, Indiana, was the 
home of a family who gave to California one of her 
men of truest metal, Augustus Timothy Hatch, born 
on the 31st of January 1837. It was in a most 
healthy environment that his early life was passed. 
His father, Ambrose Timothy Hatch, and his 
mother, whose maiden name was Lydia Ann Beebe, 
were natives of New York. On the father's side his 
family were of English origin, tracing back to Thomas 
Hatch in England in 1610. They emigrated to New 
England in very early times. On the mother's side 
they were Welsh and English. Among the family 
connections of the former was Jane Porter, the 
authoress; while among the latter was Hugh Peters, 
the Welshman, whose firmness for what he deemed 
right was such that he lost his head on the block 
rather than participate in a coronation which did not 
agree with his ideas of justice. His paternal grand- 
father. Captain Timothy Hatch, was an officer in the 
war of 1812, and died at eighty j^ears of age; his 
maternal grandfather, S. P. Beebe, was for many 
years probate judge of Elkhart county, Indiana. 
Among the representatives of the family of this 
generation are General John Porter Hatch of the 
regular army, and Alexander Hatch, who went as a 
pioneer into New Mexico and raised grain for gov- 
ernment use on what is still known as Hatch's 
rancho. His family generally have been strong of 
mind and body and living to an advanced age. Of 
the family of Captain Timothy Hatch there were 


24 children ; six of them were step-children named 
Pierson. When the youngest was 19 years old 
all were living. Now their descendants number 
over 700. 

Ambrose Timothy Hatch, when quite young, went 
from New York to Indiana and established a trading 
post among the Indians, who called him shemoga 
(prophet) because he foretold eclipses of the sun and 
moon. He was an ingenious, brave, cool-headed 
man, respected for his integrity and judgment. His 
business as a trader, however, was speculative and 
dangerous. On one occasion a competing Frenchman 
employed five Indians to take his life. They came 
upon him when he was unarmed, alone, and so ill that 
he was barely able to rise from bed ; but he made 
them a speech which turned them from their purpose. 
" Who has been a better friend to you than I ? Did 
3^ou ever ask me for anything that I refused?" "No," 
they replied. " Yet," continued he, "five of 3'ou come 
here to kill one sick man, who has always been your 
friend. What kind of braves are you ? You have 
net the courage of a woman. You cannot kill me ; 
you dare not." 

The Indians with whom he traded trusted him 
implicitly, and often left with him their money. 
At a government conference the same Frenchman 
who had incited them to assassination before made 
them believe that he was going to keep their money, 
and having got a number of them drunk he induced 
them to repeat the attempt. They surrounded him, cut 
his bridle reins and demanded the money he had in his 
saddle bagrs. Seizins^ a handful of silver coin he 
scattered it among them and while they scrambled 
for it he put spurs to his horse and escaped. Shortly 
afterward in their camp, to which he returned, he 
handed over to them all the funds they had deposited 
with him. He entered, later, into the grocery busi- 
ness, moving along the hue of construction of the 
Michigan central railroad, 


Augustus Timothy remained with his father until 
he was eleven years old, when he went back to Elkhart 
to live with his grandfather, attending school there 
for four years, sweeping the school-house and making 
fires to pay for his tuition. He was hard}^ full of 
life, and ever ambitious to excel. At work or play 
he was the last to stop. He could not endure the 
thought that there was a class too high for him. On 
enterino- the Elkhart school he was assigned to the 
second grammar class ; but the next day when the 
first class was called he went up w^th it. The teacher 
smiled, but was pleased with his show of spirit, and 
humored him. He had to strutjo^le at first to main- 
tain himself, but finally worked himself up among the 
first in his class. He became remarkably proficient 
in our perplexing orthography, and at thirteen years 
of age was well grounded in mathematics. In the 
mean time he indulged himself in a passion for read- 
ing. Shakespeare, 3Ialte- Burns Mathem,atical Geogra- 
phy of all parts of the World, Charles Lever's novels, 
the Spectator, or whatever else was handy in the 
miscellaneous literature of the frontier, he seized and 
devoured. And yet he did not cut himself off from 
all the diversions that boys love. He was full of 
. mischief and bold in it. As coadjutor of a mesmerist 
one evening he played his role to perfection. The 
needle which was run through the nose, and every 
other punishment — understood, of course, to be pain- 
less — he endured without wincing, and obeyed every 
command of the dominant mind of his principal, 
instantly, though not always as agreed to beforehand. 
Being told by the showman that a boy was making 
faces at him, like a shot he flew at the offender. One 
of his teachers in the audience exclaimed : " That's 
Tim Hatch to a dot," so natural was the play. 
Seldom imposing but ever ready to resist imposition, 
he one time did overstep the bounds of equity, and 
when he was struck for it he took the blow without 
resentment. He said to himself: "That serves me 


right," an expression of extraordinary self-control, 
which is the highest form of moral courage. His 
grandfather's discipline was pretty severe with boys. 
Tim took to his heels one day, and the old gentleman, 
who had a g^un in his hand, brouo'ht it to his shoulder 
and ordered him to stop. He only ran the faster, 
put a fence between himself and his irate ancestor, 
and twinkled his fingers in gleeful defiance. 

His mother had died when he was fifteen months old. 
A step-mother came into the house, and he was 
removed at eleven years to his grandfather's. At 
fifteen years of age, ready to begin the struggle of 
life among men, he returned to his father, whom he 
loved and respected. But there was a feature in his 
father's business, which though excusable, perhaps, 
and unavoidable in the nature of the grocery trade in 
that region at that time, young Hatch could not rec- 
oncile himself to, the sale of intoxicating liquors. 

With a change of clothes and seven dollars in his 
pocket, he went to Monoquet, Indiana. A small 
M^ater-power town belonging to a cousin, who gave 
gave him a clerkship in a store for ten dollars a 
month and board. At the beyfinnino; of the second 
year he was transferred to his cousin's flour mill, in 
which he worked six months at $15 per month. 
Then he was offered the charge of the mill, with a 
salary of $50 a month, providing he would remain in 
as assistant six months longer. He said no, he did 
not wish to be a miller. Then the offer was made 
him to take the place of the superintendant, who was 
going away. This place he accepted, and managed 
the business so well that at the end of the year 
he was offered one third of the profits, about 
$1,000, for the next twelve months. But his 
ambition prompted him to go to a city. He was 
willing to begin at the bottom with a chance to 
climb. With two or three hundred dollars saved he 
went to Cincinnati. After looking around for a few 
days he applied for the situation of salesman in a 
c. B.— in. 10 


fancy dry -goods house. " Have you any references 
to offer?" he was asked. "None," was his answer. 
He had wealthy relatives in the city, but he was 
going to stand or fall alone. "Do you know anything 
about the business?" "No, but I can pick it up as 
quickly as any one you ever saw." They smiled at 
his assurance and his rustic appearance. " Gentle- 
men," said he, " take me for three months. If any 
time during the three months you find you don't want 
me let me go and it will cost you nothing — ^but if you 
keep me the three months you may pay me $25 per 
month." They gave him the coveted opportunity. 
The foreman of the establishment turned up his nose 
at the young man's mistakes, but he never repeated a 
mistake, and he never required anything explained to 
him twice. When the probation period of three 
months expired, the supercilious foreman had ceased 
smiling. He became quite serious and offered young 
Hatch $50 a month for a yesir ; this he declined and 
continued with the firm only a month longer, during 
which he had the satisfaction of selling more goods 
than any other person in the house, not excepting 
the foreman. 

He took employment next with Ryland, Ostroni and 
company, a wholesale hardware house, but at the end of 
a year with them, which brought him to the spring of 
1857, he found himself spending more money than he 
was making. He would go to California and try his 
fortune there. He went by rail to St. Louis and 
thence to Council Bluffs by steamer, armed with rifle, 
six-shooter, and bowie-knife, the regulation outfit, and 
for which he never found any use. There he fell in 
with a man named Goodrich, who was starting over- 
land with sheep, for the privilege of whose company, 
and the transportation of his blankets and clothes, he 
engaged to help with his drive. In his zeal one day 
he stepped outside of his duty, and rode a pony to 
urge up some lagging sheep, to which Goodrich 
taking exception, Hatch exclaimed, "Take your pony, 


I'll never rlcle again," and he did not, tramping the 
rest of the way across the plains to Big meadows, 
Plumas county, where the party arrived September 
8, 1857. Being then in Goodrich's debt $56.50, he 
worked it out and put the credit, $17, on the other 

Going down Feather river he applied for work in 
the mines ; the best he could get was half the usual 
wages — that is $2 a day and board. He was what 
trade union men call a "scab." Would work for what- 
ever w^ages he could get. He says that term may 
still be applied to him, and is proud of it, when used 
in connection with the words " trade union." But he 
was a conscientious worker, " the first emigrant," 
said old Dave Kirkham, " that I ever knew to do a 
day's work in mining from the start." His revolver 
and knife he had lost ; his rifle he raffled off" for $50. 
In company with others he prospected at Inskip and 
Lovelock without success. He had paid the expenses 
of the party he was with, and his last dollar was 
gone. They thought they would try their luck in 
Chili then, but the Fraser river excitement broke out 
and his fellow-prospectors followed in its wake. 
Hatch concluded to remain in the neighborhood a 
while longer. Without a cent in his pocket and 
havino- nothing: to eat, he struck out for Mooresville. 
While plodding along, pinched with hunger, the third 
day out he came upon an Indian camp in which he 
found some dried caterpillars. He did not try them, 
but trudged on. He reached Mooresville at last, 
where he obtained employment digging a ditch ; but 
when this was done and he started back to Kirkham's 
he came near starving. After three days' walking 
without food he offered a gold pen, which was all he 
had, for something to eat. It was a good Samaritan 
to whom he applied, whose kind words and generous 
treatment brought from him the first and only tears 
he ever shed in California. He paid for the food by 
work. In all this it must not be inferred that it was 



man's inhumanity to man that stood in his way ; 
simply his lines were not cast in a prosperous region ; 
the labor market was overstocked. In competing 
with others for the privilege of toil, among employers 
to whom he was a stranger, he was at a disadvantage. 
He was slight of build, short of stature, boyish in 
appearance, and out at the elbows and toes. Yet he 
struggled on, and went back to Kirkham, on Feather 
river, for whom he worked a claim for $2.50 a day. 
Later he bought a claim to be paid for from the 
yield, and in the autumn of 1860 he had about 

His thoughts now went back to Indiana, where 
before he came away his boyish fancy had been smit- 
ten by the semblance of love, and he lost no time in 
following his inclinations. He returned home by way 
of the Isthmus. But he found his heart's desire 
changed toward him ; he was not the ideal of her 
mature mind. And thus perished without much 
suffering this juvenile fancy. On the 14th of March 
1861, he married Mary Graham, who has been a 
loyal, brave, and sagacious help-meet for him in all 
the ups and downs of his varied experience. 

The most promising marriages are those which 
spring from a concurrence of heart and mind, the 
common-sense of which is that the contracting^ parties 
are reasonable, adapt themselves to each other, 
and practically blend their lives in one. Having 
$600 left, Mr Hatch bought an outfit of several 
horses and a wagon, and on April 3d, accom- 
panied by his wife, his half-brother, and a boy, he 
began his second journey across the plains, making 
the trip without extraordinary incident, and arrived 
at Mountain meadows, at the headwaters of the 
Feather river in Plumas county, August 25, 1861. 
All but five of his horses had died from the effects of 
drinking alkaline water, and these were sick ; so there 
was no alternative but to begin life in the golden 
state as he had begun it before ; that is, at the bot- 


torn. Putting his stock out to pasture he went 
down to Colusa and chopped wood, his wife doing 
the housework, and the two earning $40 a month. 
With the first money saved from their joint earn- 
ings they bought a squatter's claim to a small tract 
of land on the Sacramento river. The war feelingf 
ran high, especially among his neighbors, who were 
nearly all southerners. His first act was to take 
down the confederate flag which he found tacked up 
in the house, and replaced it with the stars and 
stripes above the roof The captain of the river 
steamer, a union man, had previously seen the rebel 
flag on the roof, and left word that if it was there 
when he came up again he would stop on his return 
and pull down the house ; so it had been taken down 
and tacked on the inner wall. His neighbors waited 
on Hatch and made threats, but finding he was not to 
be frightened, and would cheerfully risk his life for 
the honor of the union banner, they changed their 
tone and complained that he was not treating the 
sentiments of the community with proper respect. 

Hatch was at this time a familiar and picturesque 
fig^ure in that reg-ion, driving: a bigf American mare 
and a little Spanish pony in a wagon loaded with 
produce up to Marysville one day and back the next ; 
nor was his experience uneventful. One night at 
Marysville he strolled into a large gaming-house, and 
seeing an elderly farmer under the control of a couple 
of gamblers who were robbing him of his mone}", he 
interposed boldly and induced the old man to leave 
the place with him -and go to bed. The sharpers 
resented this interference with their game as a mortal 
afl'ront, and made up their minds to kill him. The 
next time he was in town he dropped into the same 
saloon. A rough looking fellow, known as Lucky 
Bill, motioned him to come over to the gambling 
table. As Hatch walked over he saw him cock a 
pistol under the edge of the table with one hand. 
*' Young man," said the gambler, '' I understand you 


interrupted a game here the other night." " I did," 
said Hatch, " I was not going to see an old friend 
swindled." "That's our business," returned the 
gambler, ''and the next time you put in your lip, 
3^ou'll have to settle with me." Leaning over the 
table and putting his face close to the gambler's, 
Hatch, who had a handy knife in his sleeve, and was 
determined that if his adversary made a move with 
his pistol to kill him before he could raise it, 
answered in a low resolute tone: "I have taken care 
of myself since I was eleven years old, in bigger 
towns than this ; and I think I can do so in Marys- 
ville; now what are you going to do about it?" 
Said the gambler, who was a great coward: "Don't 
ever do ifc again here." 

Very few men, during these days, in such environ- 
ment failed to try fortune at the gaming table. 
Hatch's first and last experience of this sort was to 
put down a half dollar at faro. He drew out $10, 
and was congratulating himself on his luck, when a 
man said to him: " That's the worst thing that could 
have happened to you, young man ; it will be your 
ruin." But it was not. The remark set him think- 
ing, and he never played at faro again. 

In the winter of 1863-4 he went to Reese river, 
Nevada, which was the scene of a great silver-mining 
excitement, taking with him his wife and all his 
belongings, including a span of horses, three yoke of 
cattle and two wagons. At Big creek canon, a few 
miles south of Austin, he was fortunate, so great ^vas 
the rush, to secure a cabin twelve feet square, with 
the original soil for the floor, a blanket for a door 
and barley sacks for a window, at $30 a month. In 
these close quarters the family and four men ate and 
slept, until he found the reputed mines a delusion, 
whereupon he passed into Mammoth district, Nye 
county, about 130 miles south of Wadsworth. Par- 
ties in possession of the ground charging what he 
regarded as an exorbitant price for a building lot, 


he located an addition to the town site, giving lots 
to all who would build. When he left the place, 
seven years later, there was but one house in the 
original town, but his town, Ellsworth, was quite a 

The incidents of his life were such as can be iinao-ined 
by one familiar with the history of tlie rise and 
fall of mining settlements in Nevada, which were 
very aptly called camps. He prospected industriously, 
and in order to meet expenses took part in every- 
thing by which he could make a dollar legitimately. 
He bou(yht and sold anything^ at hand. He o-uided 
strangrers seekino; miniu'j: claims throuoh the district: 
if they wanted lodging and meals he accommodated 
them and took care of their horses. Always on the 
alert he seized every opportunity, while his wife 
responded cheerfully to the demand upon her at the 
house. Once, when their flour was exliausted, ten 
pounds of shorts being all the breadstuff's they had 
left a well dressed man ridinof a fine horse called 
at their door and wanted to buy bread. Said Hatch, 
smiling at the predicament: " Stranger, I have none 
to sell ; you appear to have money, and you have a 
stout horse; it is only twelve miles to the next town. 
If you were ' broke ' I would divide with you such 
as I have; you can go to where flour is to be had, 
and I will have to let you go." It was against the 
grain for him to do so, for it was not his habit to 
allow those who wished to buy or sell to pass him 

On the whole it was rather a poor camp, the only 
prospect being the possibility of striking a quartz 
vein of pay ore. This good fortune ultimately befell 
Hatch. One night a friend told him of a cattle- 
driver having a piece of rock which assayed $80 in 
silver. All that he could say about it was that he 
had picked it up on a blind trail in a canon heading 
north of Mammoth district. Hatch, though thinking 
now and then of the find, did not try to locate it 


for two years. He then rode out and found the 
claim, which he named Marble falls. It w^as evi- 
dently a valuable property, but he would have to 
sell it. The attempt was opposed by an Indian called 
Virginia Jim, who claimed the ledge, saying that 
his mother had given it to him, He was persistent, 
and brought forward an Indian woman who spoke 
English to urge his rights, and went to see the dis- 
trict judge, to whom his aboriginal plea was made. 
Hatch met Jim kindly, and endeavored to satisfy him 
without quoting the mining laws. "If you had guided 
me to the ledge," he said, "it would have been differ- 
ent; but you had nothing to do with it; I went there 
myself and found it." But all argument was wasted 
on the aboriginal. One day Hatch went over to the 
mine alone, carrying a pistol, as was his custom. 
Seeingr the Indian standinof on the led;2;e as if to assert 
his ownership, he went up to him. "Jim," said he, 
"I want you to go away from here." "By and by" 
was bis laconic and dogged reply. " I want you to 
go now, and don't you ever show yourself here again." 
The Indian, realizing that his pretentions would not 
work, turned and departed, and was never trouble- 
some any more. A white man also made trouble ; 
nevertheless Hatch sold his three-fifths interest for 
$14,000. The mines had paid him at last, but it was 
no place for a home for himself and family. 

It was hard upon his wife, who was often left alone, 
but she bore her trials bravely. Few women were in 
the mines, and the acquaintance of these as a rule 
was not desirable. Two of their children were born 
before the doctor came, but nature and a chance 
book on midwifery were sufficient. Whither it was 
best to remove Hatch was at some pains to deter- 
mine. It was now the latter part of 1870. Eureka, 
Nevada, was attracting attention as a growing mining 
camp, and he thought of starting a bank. Doubt- 
less he would have become rich had he done so, for 
such is the history of the early bankers there; but, 


considerinoj his wide influence in California in a 
sphere of vastly greater importance, it is fortunate 
for this state and for himself that he finally determined 
to come to San Francisco. 

It was at a time when real estate values began to 
recover from the earthquake shock of 1868, and he 
considered the advisability of investing his money in 
realty in this city. He had a chance to purchase a 
fifty-foot lot on Market street near where the Bald- 
win hotel now stands. It was an investment which 
would have enriched him, but again he and the state 
were benefited by his looking farther. An old friend, 
a miller, had come out from Indiana, and was farming 
at Suisun. Mr and Mrs Hatch visited him there, 
liked the prospect and bought him out for $10,000. 

The first year Mr Hatch sold $75 worth of pears 
from three trees which he found on the place. It 
was five years later before it occurred to him to plant 
other pear trees, although the}^ paid better than any- 
thing else. So slow are opportunities in forcing them- 
selves upon our attention at times. There are others, 
however, who have not discovered the profit in pear 
trees yet. He planted a small vineyard and three or 
four hundred fruit trees. After working a year or 
two he said to himself, "Is it necessary to have a '' 
$10,000 farm and work so hard to make a living? -, 
What else can I do ?" ^ 

Here began his actual fruit-growing. There was 
an almond tree on a neighbor's place which yielded 
a crop every year. Thought he, "I'll plant some 
almonds." He planted a few trees; they were pro- 
lific. Then lie planted more, and he has kept planting 
more almonds ever since. Then he would raise some- 
thing besides almonds; he planted the remainder 
of 120 acres of valley land in other fruits, and w^ithal 
some more almonds. The languedocs generally planted 
in California had not proved successful, and his expe- 
rience with this variety was similar. He looked into 


the matter pretty carefully, and found what he thought 
would do better; that is a small almond, not a supe- 
rior quality of nut, but better than none, as it bore 
well. He budded his seedlings from these. There 
were several hundred seedlinQfs for which he had no 
buds ; he left them without budding, and that year 
found one tree which bore unusually fine nuts. Deem- 
ing it best he let the rest of the trees alone to see 
what kind of nuts they would produce. The nuts he 
had planted to get a root for budding were large bit- 
ter almonds. He found among them, the next year, 
some very fine almonds; in fact, he had about seventy 
varieties better than lanofuedoc. No two trees bore 
the same kind. He had almonds of all shapes and 
sizes. He selected some very choice nuts, among 
which were the ixl, nonpareil, and ne plus ultra. 
These three proved to be good bearers, fine nuts, 
easy to hull, and desirable in every wa}'-. From these 
he began to propagate by budding and grafting from 
the branches, planting the hard shells or bitter almond 
to get roots; and now there are at least 10,000 acres 
of almond trees in California from these three trees! 
Here was factorship in fruit history-. 

One day a friend was in his orchard, to whom he 
said: "I am going to have an income of $5,000 a 
year from this place." His friend said, in reply : 
" I believe you can ; but, as for me, I don't know 
what my aim is except to save what I have." In 
this brief conversation a contrast is evident; the 
stationary and the progressive spirit. Hatch had 
gone $8,000 in debt by planting trees, and meanwhile 
had not the use of land for other purposes. When 
it was all in order he was offered $10,000 a j-ear for 
it for ten years. Then he thought he could do better, 
and declined the offer. The land on which he was 
doing this was comparatively inferior. He had taken 
it knowing the report to be that two others had 
failed on it; everyone predicted his failure. Although 
at first he paid for all he bought, some of his neigh- 


bors and friends gave him six months and others 
two years in which to go to pieces. They regarded 
everything he did as peculiar. How could a man run 
to the city so often and plant so many trees and 
make his business pay ? While they remained at home 
to watch their property, he kept the pot boiling with- 
out brooding over it. Across the creek from his place 
there was a tract of 217 acres for sale for $21,000. 
He needed it in his business, and he wondered if 
he could not get it. He went to Suisun, where his 
friend Mr Staples, who knew his circumstances and 
ability, could advise with him, " Mr Staples," said 
he, "you know I owe $8,000 on the farm which 
cost me $10,000. That Ellsworth place is for sale 
for $21,000. Do you think I can buy it ?" Said he: 
"Yes, I think you can, but I don't know of anybody 
else who could." "I think I can too ; I am going to 
do it." He went to see Ellsworth. " George, I hear 
you have sold this place." "I have." "The papers 
made out, any money down?" "No." "What's the 
matter with letting me have it?" "I told this man 
he could have it." "For how much?" "Twenty- 
one thousand dollars. He is to come next Wednes- 
day." " If he does not come, may I have the privilege 
to buy?" "Yes." Something seemed to tell Hatch 
that he would get this land, and he did — $6,000 
cash and a mortgage for $15,000 at ten per cent 
interest per annum. Borrowing $6,000 from the 
Suisun bank he made the cash payment. This was 
in November. He began planting fruit trees, and 
before the end of the next year it was all planted. 
The farm of William H. Turner lay to the east of 
the Ellsworth property, between it and a public road. 
If he could get a portion of it the road to Suisun 
would be much shortened; but when he tried to buy 
that portion Mr Turner would not sell. He had 
bought about this time 80 acres lying north of and 
cut off from his farms by Turner's. One day he was 
out on the hills looking across the property, and he 



said to himself, "I will have it." It is remarkable 
how much is already done when the mind is made 
up to do it. ''But," thought he, "how can a man 
without money, in debt as deep as he can mortgage, 
ever buy a $50,000 farm?" That was the price Tur- 
ner asked for his 237 acres, and he would not sell 
less than all of it. Sitting at table, a plan of pur- 
chase struck him ; he knew it would work. After 
lunch he went over and saw his neighbor. "Mr 
Turner, what is the price of this place?" "Fifty 
thousand dollars." " I'll take it. What interest do 
you want on deferred payments?" "Six per cent 
net." " I will give you eight per cent gross. How 
much land is there included in these lots around the 
house, the barn, and outhouses ?" " Thirty-three 
acres." " I will give you $50,000 for this place in 
three years, at eight per cent interest per annum, 
you to keep possession of and making your home on 
these thirty-three acres. If at any time during the 
three years I pay principal and interest you will 
give me a deed, you to have three months thereafter 
in which to remove." It was agreed, and together 
they went to have the papers drawn up. " Hatch," 
said the lawyer employed for this purpose, "I am 
sorry for you ; this will break you ; you have under- 
taken too much this time. I admire your pluck, but 
you are reckless." He was really concerned. Hatch 
only said, " We shall see." Within a year he had 
put out fruit trees on every acre not previously 
planted, excepting the ground reserved by Turner 
to live on. In the mean time, with a partner, he 
bought the Peabody farm, adjoining the Turner place. 
The man who owned it had purchased it for $15 an 
acre. It was as fine a piece of land as thei'e was 
in Suisun valley, but he had not been able to make 
a living on it, and had mortgaged it up to $150 an 
acre. They paid $160 per acre for it, on five years' 
time, at eight per cent interest, payable annuall}^ in 



But now, within a week of the time when the 
payment was clue on the Turner place, Mr Turner, 
who had agreed verbally with Hatch to extend the 
time another year, died. Fifty thousand dollars to 
pay in so short a time 1 How could he do it? Three 
different money-bags to whom he applied within 
twenty-four hours in San Francisco consented to come 
to his relief, but the relief they offered was much 
like death. Said Hatch, in the familiar way in which 
he addresses himself: ** It may be j'ou can do this 
yourself, without any particular sacrifice. Let me 
see." It was autumn. He went to a packing con- 
cern in San Francisco and sold them his canning S 
fruit crop for delivery the following year, Hatch to ) 
receive $15,000 cash in advance. The heirs accepted ^ 
the compromise of $10,000 dow^n and a mortgage for 
the balance. Thereupon he bought his partner's 
interest in the Peabody place at $200 an acre, an 
advance of $40 over what they had paid for it. 

Next he went to look for land in Livermore val- 
ley. Having examined the country, and liking it, 
he returned home, and shipped over 5,000 trees. 
He had not bought any land. If he could buy on 
reasonable terms he would do so ; if not he would 
burn the trees and return home. He secured 62 
acres individually and 81 acres in connection v/ith a 
partner, and the trees were duly planted. After this, 
when riding in the valley one day, a certain place 
was offered him for $25,000. Says Hatch: ''I will 
give you $30,000 in five years with eight per cent 
interest." "It is yours," was the reply. On the spot 
a man already associated with him agreed to take 
part in the purchase. Said he to a second man : "Do 
you want an interest? What do you say?" *'I will 
have to think about it." "What do you want to 
think about? We can make the purchase price before 
the time comes to pay it." "Well," said he then, 
"we will do it." The 256 acres, excepting 60 acres 


already in grapes, thus added to his partnership 
belongings were put to almonds. 

Mr Hatch had been noticing the land about Lodi 
for ten years, thinking in due time to plant an orchard 
there, but said nothing about it. One day, on the 
train, he fell in with a prominent fruit grower from 
Vacaville, who said, *' I want to plant another orch- 
ard, a large one, a model orchard ;" and he went on 
to explain, " I will tell you where I want to put it." 
At this juncture, as by thought transference, antici- 
pating him, Hatch broke in : ''I, too, want to plant 
another orchard, a model orchard, and I will tell you 
where I want to put it — near Lodi." "Yes, that is 
the locality." Late in the season of 1887 he pur- 
chased 640 acres there, on five years time, at eight 
per cent interest, on contract to put out 200 acres in 
trees the first year. Instead of this he put out the 
whole tract in different kinds of fruit trees. His 
pioneer work here resulted in bringing other enter- 
prising fruit men about him, and soon another import- 
ant fruit colony was brought into existence. 

A year before this he and a partner had bargained 
for 283 acres in the San Ramon valley. Contra Costa 
county, for $30,000, on his five years eight per cent 
plan. After they had held the contract for a while, 
Hatch gave his partner $10,000 advance on his one- 
half and took the whole. Then in connection with 
three others he bonded 920 acres, at an average of 
$26 an acre, in Placer county, north of Rocklin and 
east of Lincoln. His next operation of the kind was 
to purchase 1,200 acres on Feather river, near Biggs 
station, in company with John Rock, the pioneer Cali- 
fornia nurseryman, at $75 an acre, 700 acres of which 
they planted in fruit trees the same season. In 1889 
they bought 1,000 acres adjoining, and in 1 890 had there 
1,340 acres in trees, and over 1,000,000 trees in nursery. 
In all this it is evident that it is not the man who has 
money for investment who will do most in fruit grow- 
ing in California, but he who knows what is in it. 


Hatch and Rock have since bought in that vicinity 
270 acres, and planted 220 acres of it. In October 
1890, he bougat 4,400 acres of land in Tehama 
county, near Cottonwood, proceeded to plant 500 
acres of it to fruits, and took thither his stable of 
trotters, which had become valuable, and started a 
breeding farm. In November of the same year sev- 
eral associated with him to purchase and plant 400 
acres of the best land in Yolo county, near Woodland, 
to fruits, under the name of the Yolo orchard com- 
pany. In December following he contracted for the 
Rawson tract, of over 5,000 acres, three miles south 
of Red Bluff, and commenced planting fruit-trees 
on it. 

This is a brief history of Mr Hatch's bold, original, 
and rapid acquisition and improvement of fruit lands. 
It is suggestive not only of his character, but of the 
conditions under which he has worked. When he 
bought his home plantation in the Suisun valley, he 
knew almost nothing of general farming, and nothing 
at all of horticulture ; and it was well for him and the 
state that he was aware that he knew little about it. 
He was willing and anxious to learn, and he had no 
preconceived ideas that needed to be removed. 
" Who," thought he, ''knows most about fruit culture 
in California ? I'll g-o to him and learn." He knew 
that G. G. Brig-o-s, livingf- near Davisville, had been 
very successful. He w^ent to him and said, " I want 
to profit by your experience." "Well, you have come 
to a poor teacher. I have reached no conclusions 
myself yet. It is all an experiment. But here is my 
orchard. Come with me and look at it. You are 
welcome to any information I can give you." 

Hatch investigated to advantage, and came away 
with a knowledge of some things that should be done, 
and of other things to be avoided. Wherever fruit 
growers met he w^as sure to be there, with many 
questions to ask and not ashamed to ask them. The 
state horticultural society was his best teacher. But 


he studied and experimented for himself, and picked 
up suo-crestions in conversations with fruit growers. 
The result of his earnest and persistent study, and 
ceaseless activity in systematically applying the prin- 
ciples learned, is shown in the admirable condition of 
his orchards and his acknowledged skill in practical 
horticulture. His Suisun property is conceded by all 
to be second to no fruit farm. 

Mr Hatch began his career in this industry 
inspired by a supreme confidence in the capabilities 
and destiny of California as a fruit producing country; 
his confidence in himself was unlimited, which has 
been pretty clearly shown. His faith in whatever 
his judgment approved is such that no obstacle has 
any terror for him. Never fretful, always buo3^ant, 
his presence is like the morning air or an autumn 
rain. However dark the shadows may close about 
him, he sees daylight somewhere. On his first trip 
into the Sacramento valley, as he crossed the moun- 
tains oroinf»; down to Oroville, he stood above the 
clouds which, as the sun shown upon them, gave the 
wide extending area below the appearance of a sea of 
molten silver. Moving on down he became enveloped 
in fog, and by and by entered the stratum of pouring 
rain. But he had seen the silver lining with his eyes, 
and in his mind as he looked back up the mountains 
he could see it still; he knew it was there. Thus 
practically realizing the truth of the old adage for 
the first time, in this scene of nature's grandeur and 
eloquence, it made a profound impression upon him. 
Since then, never has a somber cloud crossed his way 
but his thoughts revealed to him its silver lining. 
Once his wife, ordinarily satisfied that whatever her 
husband did would turn out for the best, grew some- 
what anxious over the thouo;ht of his indebtedness. 
"Mary," said he, " is there any one around here who 
is out of debt?" She named several. He helped 
her, and suggested a number of others himself 
" Now," he continued, "which of them has a better 


time than we?" "No one," she answered, "but we 
want somethmg when we are old." "True," he 
replied, " but had we not better die in the workhouse 
than live in one all our lives ? There are those wha 
owe nothing who are living in a workhouse, and do, 
not enjoy themselves as well as some who are work- 
ing for us for a dollar a day." "Yes, but something 
may happen, and then what will we do?" " Nothing 
shall happen." "How will you prevent it?'* "I don*t 
know how, but I will prevent it ; I will wait until the 
emergency arises and then I shall meet it." Nothing 
serious has happened so far. Mr Hatch was ever ready 
to dominate any situation. He would borrow money 
and make it pay back principal and interest, and give 
him a fortune in improved lands. This was his plan; 
it fitted him and he succeeded in it. To the banker^ 
Mr Robbing, who loaned him the $21,000, the Suisun 
farm had been offered, and he knew it to be a good 
investment, but he wanted two or three others to go 
in with him to share the risk. After the purchase 
had been made, the bank commissioners, this banker 
with them, accepted an invitation to a fruit lunch on 
the place. Speaking of the purchase, Mr Robbins 
said to the others : " I had a chance to get tliis prop- 
erty, and I have been blaming myself ever since 
because I did not." Mr Hatch remarked : "I can 
tell you why you did not and I did." "Why?" 
■" Because you had something to lose and I had noth- 
ing." Another time, this same banker, while riding 
over the orchard, remarked : " Hatch, I should think 
it would worry you to look after this place." " I am 
not troubled half as much as when I had only 300 
trees and did all the work myself. Now, I am in the 
city half the time spending your money." " But, 
Hatch," said he, "you ought not to tell everybody 
how much you owe." "I do not agree with you, 
though my wife thinks as you do. She says I send 
word to all the people I don't see to tell them of my 
indebtedness. But do you think any the less of me 
c. B.-in. 11 


for not covering up what I owe ? I would not trust a 
man who tried to conceal his affairs. I do not discuss 
ni}^ indebtedness for policy sake. I have never 
thought of it in that light, but if I were to choose, 
I would prefer such a policy as the best for getting 
more money when I need it." He once said his 
ambition was to owe $100,000, and he largely 
exceeded it. 

The land Mr Hatch has acquired individual title to 
together with his share of partnership holdings, 
amounts to 3,170 acres, the value of which is very 
great already, and increasing steadily by virtue of 
the appreciation of all fruit lands in California, and 
more particularly by his skill and energy in improv- 
ing and rendering them productive. Of the entire 
area given, 1,320 acres are planted in almonds, and 
the remainder in assorted deciduous fruits, with some 
oranges, olives, and figs. He prefers the almonds 
because they are almost a sure crop. You are not 
obliged to attend to them so promptly as in case of 
fruits that are bruised and spoiled by falling to the 
ground. You have a long season in which to handle 
them ; you can begin early or leave them until late. 
Even if left to fall from the trees, they can be picked 
up, hulled, and bleached, and are uninjured. In the 
event of a strike one is not embarrassed. Havinor 
such a contingency in view Mr Hatch has his perish- 
able fruits distributed around on his different farms. 
Almonds are an article of import, but they can be 
raised cheaply, and be made to compete successfully, 
without a tariff, with the almonds brought from 
Europe, if a low rate of freight exists between ship- 
ping points in California and the east. This, on the 
basis that California and foreio-n almonds are of the 
same quality ; but, with the exception of the Jordans, 
perhaps, our almonds are superior. 

The reader is asking himself, I fancy, how Mr 
Hatch has sustained himself in all these purchases ; 
how he has escaped being crushed under a mountain 


of mortgages ? In 1889, calculating that he had as 
much to carry as his income would stand, he ceased 
purchasing land, and devoted his thoughts to a reduc- 
tion of his indebtedness. In 1888 he sold about 
$100,000 worth of produce, besides nursery stock, 
from the home place in Suisun valley, from the pro- 
ceeds of which he carried on his other farms. The 
total acreage of the mother farm, that is, its total 
orchard measurement, including hill lands, is 933 
acres — 781 acres in trees, 350 acres bearing. In 
1890 some of his outside property produced something, 
increasing rapidly in yield thereafter, and by the 
summer of 1894 every available acre that he now 
owns will be producing valuable crops. In the fall of 
1889 he could see his business coming into shape; 
so that unless some catastrophe should befall him, 
which he deemed impossible, he would soon have his 
property paid for, in perfect condition, bringing in a 
large profit, and a comfortable balance to his credit 
in bank. This w^as the grand object to which he has 
labored, alwa^'s in his own way, scarcely admitting to 
himself that when attained it might serve only as a 
point of departure toward even wider achievements. 
His faith in fruit culture in this state was based 
upon his judgment of two things ; first, that Califor- 
nia could produce fruits equal to the best of certain 
kinds, and better than the best of certain other kinds 
produced elsewhere in the United States or abroad ; 
and second, that there would be found an ample 
market in the east and Europe for first-class Califor- 
nia fruits. The home market is unimportant now and 
will always be so, comparatively, as fruit-growing 
rapidly expands. The market of the eastern states 
should be cultivated by offering it none but the 
choicest fruits, shipped ripe, dried, and canned. The 
more such fruit is distributed in the east the greater 
becomes the demand for it. Raise and send to 
eastern consumers fruit that is better than their own, 
or that they import. 


This is the problem already fairly solved, and no 
one has done more toward the solution than A. T. 
Hatch. California has a larger area than the Medi- 
terranean regions, also soil and climate quite as well 
adapted to its varied horticulture. Why then should 
we not compete with that section successfully ? The 
question of transportation is important; it is vital to 
a full development of the horticultural interests in 
this state. We are far from Chicasfo, the nearest of 
the large distributing points for the eastern market. 
Our fruit is taken over this long haul as cheaply per- 
haps as any similar service is done elsewhere in the 
United States, but as it is now the low water rates 
from Europe stand in our way. After all, when our 
railroads carry our fruit at the lowest possible rates 
they can make, competition will become profitable to 
us against the very best European, as they are now 
against all eastern, products. Should the railroads 
not see their own interest, to say nothing of that of 
the community on which they mainly depend for 
their general traffic, and fail to make such conces- 
sion as the fruit business requires, the Nicaragua 
canal may furnish an exit for dried fruits in large 
volume; but, until refrigeration is much nearer per- 
fection than at present, ripe fruits cannot go by that 

Mr Hatch has endeavored to find a plan by which 
to ship our fruits ripe instead of green; two experi- 
ments with what is called the Allegretti plan have 
proved unsatisfactory. In May 1888 he went east 
and formed a combination to try the Hutchin's patent 
refrigerating car. Fifteen of these cars loaded with 
ripe fruit — ten from his place and five from Vaca- 
ville — carried peaches, pears, and nectarines across 
the continent in perfect condition; but the trial was 
not economically made, and it was not successful 
pecuniarily. Mr Hatch shipped sixty car-loads in 
1889, with only tolerable results. 


Still regardless of the friendly advice of those who 
wished him well, and the many reiterated protests of 
his despatcher and agents in the eastern cities; heed- 
less of the warning of those who knew better than 
any others how great his losses were on account of 
the reluctance of eastern dealers to risk their money 
in the purchase of ripe, mellow fruit, because thereto- 
fore they had always handled green, hard fruit, he 
kept on shipping, and in 1890 shipped to New York 
city nearly 100 cars of fully matured, luscious fruits, 
telling his advisers that his intention was to prove 
the refrigerator car a decided success or a miserable 
failure. The result was profitable to him and to the 
fruit industry of California. Now all wanted that 
car, and some thanked him for not giving up to 
their solicitations. It may not be out of place to say 
that while Hatch was testinar this venture with car- 
load after car-load of choice fruits at serious loss to 
himself, no other fruit grower or shipper would risk 
his fruit in any refrigerator car, all previous trials 
having been disastrous failures. Extraordinary credit 
is due him for the persistency of his eftbrts toward 
putting our fruits on the eastern markets in their 
perfection. In this, which was never done before, 
but henceforth will be done for all time, he was the 
pioneer, and made the way easy. 

The comparison is still made, some times, between 
California and eastern fruits ; while this state is uni- 
versally conceded the palm for grapes, we sometimes 
hear our peaches, pears, and other fruits unfavorably 
spoken of as unsubstantial, watery, and deficient in 
saccharine matter, though most beautiful, large, and 
luscious in appearance. Such criticism comes only 
from those who have not tasted our choicest fruits. 
An incident in point : Mr Kirkman, comptroller of 
the Chicago and Northwestern railway, was talking 
at the Palace hotel one evenino; about California 
fruits. Said he: "I would travel fifty miles to get a 
few peaches such as I used to eat when I was a boy." 


When he passed by the railroad station near Mr 
Hatch's farm, on his way east via Portland, a few 
boxes of fruit were handed into his car, among them 
two boxes of peaches, picked ripe. Upon his arrival 
in Chicago he wrote back in acknowledgment, express- 
ing himself delighted with the fruit, all of which he 
had enjoyed. Referring to the peaches, he said: 
"When I was a boy I never ate, nor saw, nor even 
dreamt of such peaches." 

Ill everything concerning the fruit industry or cal- 
culated to promote it Mr Hatch has taken an earnest 
and active interest. He has been a member of the 
state horticultural society ever since its organization, 
and was vice-president for several 3- ears. At a meet- 
ing of this society in 1886 he suggested for discussion 
the subject of fruit-shipping by fruit-growers. Subse- 
quently, on a substitute resolution offered b3^ him, a 
mass-meeting of the fruit-growers was called at the 
San Francisco chamber of commerce. As one of a 
committee of seven to which the matter was refer- 
red, he reported a plan to place the shipment in the 
hands of a general agent in the east to distribute 
the g:oods, and a local managjer wiih assistants to 
attend to the business here. The other committee- 
men all differed from him radicall}^, and great heat 
prevailed among the horticultural factions; but in a 
brilliant fight he won the organization he proposed, 
upon which followed his election as president of the 
California fruit union, in which position he had the 
pleasure of signing the contract with a man to act as 
eastern manager, whom he did not prefer on account 
of his personal reliability, but whom he knew, from the 
evidence of what he had already done in the business, 
to be the most competent man for the place. When 
the cry was raised, "This man has made a million 
dollars already handling California fruits in Chicago," 
Hatch replied: "That shows his ability to make 
money for us, if he will." 

Four houses in Sacramento, in competition with 


the fruit union, combined and made up trains first, 
and shipped fruit all through the season. Had the 
man selected by the union to handle its goods in the 
east joined them, as he would have done had he not 
been allied with the union, it would never have run a 
car. Of the four Sacramento houses which did not 
realize that fruit-growers can put their produce on 
the market cheaper than anj' middleman who has to 
buy for shipment, one failed for $45,000, another had 
to borrow $15,000 to continue in business, and the 
other two acknowledged heavy losses. Within a year 
they withdrew. Three years after its organization, 
in 1885, the fruit union having changed so much, men 
being admitted to the board whose principal business 
was buying and selling fruits, and the majority of the 
board in favor of a plan that he was not in harmony 
with, Mr Hatch, three times elected president, 

It was upon his suggestion that the local board of 
trade, in 1887, in Oakland, met and organized the 
California state board of trade, of which he was 
chosen president three times. Its principal object was 
to give correct information regarding the resources 
and products of the state. It has been an active, 
self-supporting body, and has distributed much in- 
formation. ''California on wheels," a special train, 
makes regular trips under its auspices to all the prin- 
cipal points of the eastern states. It has been very 
successful by its attractive exhibit of our products in 
its rooms in San Francisco, in interesting capitalists 
in the capabilities of our state and in enlarging the 
market for our fruits. 

In the dried fruit union and in all other associations 
to promote the interests of the fruit industry and 
agriculture at large Mr Hatch has participated. He 
assisted at the orofanization of the Gran^jjers' bank in 
San Francisco in 1875, the capital of which was 
furnished by farmers to be loaned among themselves 
as a protection against the wheat dealers. It served 
its original purpose as a protective measure, and grew 


to be among the first-class, general commercial bank- 
ing houses of the city. Most of the time since the 
founding of the Grangers' business association, Mr 
Hatch has been one of its board of directors. Its 
object is the handling, warehousing, and selling of 
the products of farmers, and the purchasing of their 
supplies on commission, thereby enabling them to dis- 
pose of their crops to advantage, and to secure their 
supplies at reasonable rates. Its warehouse is built 
near Port Costa, 1,000 feet lonjj;, havino^ a storag-e 
capacity of 50,000 tons. At the time it was organ- 
ized a robbing system prevailed among the ware- 
houses, which did not allow the farmers for the 
increased weight of wheat brought down dry and 
stored in a moist atmosphere. The association was 
started on the principle that the farmer is entitled to 
all the weight of the grain he deposits, and the addi- 
tional weight acquired by it during storage. It has 
established a reputation for fair dealing, and has been 
a great benefit to grain growers in this way, but more 
generally so by setting up a standard to which other 
warehouses are forced to conform. It has proved a 
model institution of its kind. Mr Hatch is president 
of the Eureka roller bearing company, of the Hatch- 
Armstrong fruit and nut company, of the Citrus fruit 
company of Placer county, and of the Yolo orchard 
company of Yolo county, and his ability and reputa- 
tion bring him into demand for many enterprises of 
general utility. 

One of the board of commissioners of the Chicago 
world's fair, appointed by the governor in 1891, he was 
most energetic in the interests of California horticul- 
ture — which was characteristic. He has had too much 
public spirit and too much interest in his surround- 
ings not to take a hand in politics. Curious to see if 
he could not make county scrip worth more than ten 
cents on the dollar, he ran for county commissioner 
of Nye county, and was elected. His official career 
of two years, during which, mainly b}^ his efforts, 
scrip rose to 65 cents, was satisfactory to his entire 


constituency, excepting the county officials, who acted 
as though the system of pubhc revenue was devised 
for their exclusive benefit. He had always been a 
republican, but refused to act with the republican 
party on certain notable occasions. For instance, 
when George C. Gorham ran on that ticket for gov- 
ernor he accepted a nomination for the assembly on 
the dolly varden ticket, knowing he could not be 
elected, and solicitous only to draw as many votes 
from Gorham as possible, that the republicans might 
be rebuked in the election of Haight, democrat. Nor 
had he any sympathy with such a republican as John 
F. Swift, who could not accept the nomination of a 
few Americans. The ideas of the American party 
suit him. He thinks that a fc^reigner should not be 
entitled to vote until he has lived as long in this 
country as our children are obliged to live in it before 
they acquire that privilege ; for we have children 
fifteen years of age who know more of our country 
and its needs than a majority of immigrants. He is 
not a man to associate with demacroo'ues, or to be 
influenced by political quacks. When, during the 
Kearney excitement, he was served with a notice to 
discharge his Chinese labor, he simply provided him- 
self with a double-barreled shotgun, and putting it 
in the house where it would be handy, went about 
his business. He had been getting along with as few 
Chinamen as possible, on the principle that they were 
not a desirable element in our community ; but 
threatened by the agitators, he told them boldly he 
would not suffer compulsion ; he knew his rights, and 
would thereafter hire none but Chinese laborers. 
The horticultural society, succumbing temporarily to 
the anti-Chinese rage, met the delegates from the 
knights of labor and the anti-Chinese association. 
From these the members of the society received a list 
of printed questions, and a meeting was called to 
answer them formally. Hatch wrote out his answers 
on a slip of paper, which were to the effect already 


indicated, adding that he would not knowingly employ 
a knight of labor, which he considered only anotlier 
name for striker. Referrino; to the conduct of the 
anarchists in Chicagjo, whose flao; bore the emblem 
*' bread or blood," he said : " This does not mean 
what it sa^'s. It means beer or blood — ninety cents 
worth of beer and ten cents worth of bread." He was 
congratulated by several men of note who were pleased 
to find that there was one who had the courage to 
say the right thing at the right time. But this part 
of the proceedings the newspapers did not publish — 
a fact quite significant of the times. 

Mr Hatch's relio;ion is not orthodox. He does not 
know a sect which has what he calls the essence of 
Christianity in it ; by which he means charity in its 
broadest sense, not the mere giving of alms — a sect 
which would not rather see a soul descend into hell, if 
there be a hell, than to see it ascend to heaven, if 
there be a heaven, out of any church doors but its 
own. His belief is "that nature doeth all things 
well." So far as he can see there is nothing to tell 
him that he will know more after he is dead tlian he 
does now ; or that when he is once dead, he will ever 
come to life again in any form. His motto — all 
masons have the privilege of such a choice — is dux 
vitx ratio, reason is my life guide. He belongs to the 
masonic fraternity, has taken the degrees of knight 
templar, and is a member of the order of nobles of 
the mystic shrine. He has taken the degrees in odd 
fellowship, but has not had any active part in filling 
the offices of the order. At the time of the knights- 
templar conclave in San Francisco, he was about to 
take the degrees of the Scottish rite, but the presi- 
dent of the horticultural society being absent, he felt 
it incumbent upon himself as next in authority, to 
make an effort, and that immediately, to have an 
abundance of every variety of California fruit dis- 
played at the mechanics' pavilion, where the visiting 
knights might see it and eat it — at once a splendid 


act of hospitality and no mean stroke of business, 
accomplished, however, only by the most persistent 
and ingenious work to secure transportation and over- 
come opposition to the plan. He had to excuse him- 
self for not taking the degrees. His apology was not 
graciously received, and he is still without the 
degrees, which recalls to my mind his stubborn 
ancestor, Hugh Peters. He did belong to the 
Lincoln guard of honor and the Knights commanders 
of the sun- -an American order. 

Though more temperate than most temperance 
people, he and his wife joined the good templars 
when they moved into the Suisun valley. He had 
always had an aversion to the traffic in liquor from 
seeing the effects of it in his father's business in 
Michio-an, and from observincr the effect of intoxi- 
eating drink upon those associated with him from 
time to time. He could have made money by the 
sale of liquors, but he would never do so for himself 
or any one else. In the good templar lodge, with 
fear and trembling, he rose for the first time to speak 
to an audience. After this first step, which cost him 
a greater effort than to buy a $50,000 farm without 
money, he gradually acquired assurance through 
experience, until he could stand before a sea of 
upturned business eyes as sturdily as in conversation 
with a friend — which is that he learned to speak to 
the people in a way of his own, keen and convincing, 
though his main streno'th is in runnini^ debate. 
Adapting action to his maiden speech, he made him- 
self the nucleus of a band of workers who achieved a 
signal victory for local option in a community of wine- 

Since the 14th of March 1861, when Mary Gra- 
ham became the wife of A. T. Hatch, she bore her 
part with him as only an ever-loyal woman could. 
His inconveniences and hardships were to her as her 
own. When she made his garments out of grain 
sacks she made her own of flour sacks. On the Sac- 


ramento river, with no protection but a faithful stag- 
hound, up one day and down the other with chills 
and fever, she bravely saw him depart for Marys- 
ville on her well day ; and how welcome his return 
to her as she lay helpless on the day following. And 
what pioneering for a woman reared in the midst of 
comforts was that in the sage-brush camp in eastern 
Nevada, laborious and sunny through it all, the same 
in spirit then as before and since. Yet she had 
always a mind of her own, and differed from her hus- 
band in many things regarding his policy in business, 
but the difference was one of judgment only. Her 
parents Scotch, she was brought up to look upon 
debt as a fearful misfortune, and nothing but his 
ability to make an exception to this good old rule 
enabled her to look upon his extraordinary methods 
with any degree of toleration. Their only surviving 
child is a daughter, Mary E., born in 1868. In the 
method of her traininof the father's sound and uncon- 
ventional ideas are apparent, to treat little children 
kindly, but with absolute firmness, as you would treat 
young animals, and as they grow in intelligence speak 
to them understandingly, always telling them the 
truth, fostering their self-reliance and independence, 
and trusting them. Let them know that in the main 
there is nothing they want that they cannot have, 
and they will not want what they ought not to have. 
At Snell's seminary the stereotyped questions being 
asked, " Mr Hatch, whom do you wish your daughter 
to receive and correspond with?" he replied: "If it is 
not asking too much, you may let her answer these 
questions for herself" After graduation, meeting the 
principal of the school en route to Yosemite, he 
inquired: "Miss Snell, did I make a mistake?" She 
answered: "No sir, your daughter is worthy of all 

Sympathetic, cheerful, generous, and relying upon 
the inherent goodness of human nature to be respon- 
sive to right treatment, he understood men, and 


trusted them as he knew them. Hearty in his ap- 
preciation of a favor, it was his dehght to repay one 
good turn with another, with principal and interest 
compounded. In the early part of 1891, more than 
thirty years since he had met with kindness from 
Kirkham, the fortunes of both having greatly 
chanofed in the mean time, the latter wrote to the 
former, " I gave you a job once. Can you do as 
much for me now. I am in great need of it." 
"Uncle Dave," then very old, did not have to wait 
long for an answer, and the response was warm and 
hearty. In order not to offend him by an offer of 
unearned help, he was given an easy berth on one of 
Hatch's fruit farms, the superintendent of which was 
instructed to put him on the roll on full pay; to let 
him do whatever he felt like doing, or nothing if he 
chose. Later still, the good people in charge of St 
Mary's hospital, San Francisco, in which "Uncle 
Dave" was a patient, were enjoined to care for him 
as though the old man were his. Hatch's, own father ; 
to get and to do for him whatever might promote his 
comfort or pleasure, regardless of the cost, he. Hatch, 
footing the bills, whatever they might be. That he 
should thus more than cancel the obligation he was 
under to his old friend was to Hatch only a matter 
of course. His gratitude was spontaneous, and as 
his good humor always does, it overflowed, and he 
was glad of it. 

Enough has been recorded to give a fair idea of 
the subject of this study in his characteristics and 
identification with the industrial progress of Cali- 
fornia. The few facts and incidents adduced suggest 
the rest. He has won a high place in the minds of 
the best men in the state by the force of what he has 
done, and the manner of his achievements compels 
admiration. How has he been able to accomplish 
results of suck advantage to the community and ben- 
efit to himself? Nature endowed him generously with 
the capabilities of success, but this is true regarding 


others who fail. He succeeded by an industrious and 
tireless use of his talents. I find in hiin, first of all, 
faith — faith in California and in himself. This confi- 
dence in the one and the other has never been shaken. 
He has planted always for the future; he has lived a 
life of uniform cheerfulness. Never melancholy him- 
self, but always shedding good humor about him, his 
presence is exhilarating. His buoyancy is a tonic. 
He is all courage and energy. As quick in action as 
in thought, clear-headed, unbending in will, tenacious 
of purpose, genial and frank, it is natural for him to 
lead. He takes great pleasure in trotting-horses, 
though he never races them for money. In 1890 he 
had over seventy of the best-bred trotting stock. 

In physique Mr Hatch is large around the waist, 
short of body, and muscled like an athlete. His 
weight is 190 pounds. In his boots he stands five 
feet six inches. He does not lack in lenofth of stride, 
and he is apt to make the gait a lively one for any 
person who travels with him. 

The inevitable outcome of such experiences as these 
*was to develop a character of marked originality and 
individuality. The man so made could not possibly 
be mediocre. In whatever community destined to 
move, he was certain to be conspicuous for good or 
evil. Plis genuine veracity, a strong sense of the 
true and useful in all things, prevented his falling 
into the lattf^r category, and the impress of his char- 
acter upon the events of the day have been in the 
highest degree beneficial. His influence has always 
been a healthy one; his prejudices were never nar- 
row nor his views intolerant. He is a strikinof in- 
stance of the development of an independent mind 
in an atmosphere of untrammelled freedom. 

In the perusal of this remarkable narrative we are 
able to distinguish between the bold achievement of 
inherent strength and the rash endeavor of medi- 
ocity. The benefit to the commonwealth of such a 
man is incalculable ; for it is not in the beaten path 


that progress makes its giant strides, but in the over- 
stepping of those conventionalties and traditions which 
tend to hamper all originality of thought and action. 
Many of those who thus enter upon untried fields 
must of necessity fail ; but every such failure is a 
public calamity, and every such success a great pub- 
lic gain. 

The lesson of this life is one of cheerfulness and 
courage, true Californian characteristics, though often 
impossible to reduce to practice. To a superficial ob- 
server it might sound a warning ; but in reality that 
which in another would be recklessness in weighty 
transactions, in this case is rather the exclamation 
point attending ability and determination. His origi- 
nal business methods he is satisfied are based on true 
business principles. This man's "I will" signifies 
much, embodying as it does the power to determine 
and to do. Five years and eight per cent to most 
men would be a ruinous maxim ; but to one possess- 
ing the native genius to double the value of the land 
within the time, the proposition is safe enough. As 
an axiom attending all effort, we may say that there 
is no vigor apart from independent principles. 



Lineage and Education — Removal to California — Mining and Trading 
— Ranch in Tehama County — Grain, Sheep, and Fruit Raising — 
Management of Estate— Wife and Children— Banking— Politics 
and Religion — Railroad Commissioner — Supplemental Report — 
Character and Appearance — Public Benefaction Contemplated, 

Certain types of our American civilization have been 
selected for these volumes, the study of which should 
quicken the patriotism of a people, proud not only of 
the country's marvellous development, but also of the 
phenomenally large proportion of her citizens whose 
lives are worthy to enter into the permanent archives 
of our time and our national history. 

Joseph Spencer Cone, of Tehama county, California, 
has been chosen as one of the representative men of 
his time and of his region and of his occupation. 
Although vice-president of a large banking corpora- 
tion and the head of a large mercantile firm, he is 
essentially an American farmer, and proudly registers 
himself as such wherever called upon to state his 
occupation. The farm has been always generous and 
kind to him. Natural selection brouo^ht them togjether 
early in his life, and neither money changing, mer- 
chandising, politics, nor other allurements have ever 
shaken his love for the simple yet noble occupation of 
tilling the soil. 

The lineage of Mr Cone is traced back to the days 
of the Norman conquest, embracing eight and twenty 
generations, among the last of whom were many fam- 




ilies which cast in their lot in what were then the 
British American colonies. His ancestor, William de 
St John, whose name was derived from an ancient 
town in Normandy, was among the barons who 
accompanied William I. in his invasion of England, and 
held the post of grand-master of the artillery in the 
invading army. From him was descended Hobert de 
St John, the second baron of Bassing, who lived in 
the reign of Henry III., and to the eldest son of the 
latter is traced the pedigree of the present marquises 
of Winchester. Thus the line is traced in almost 
direct succession until, in 1629, Elizabeth St John, in 
whose person was united the lineage of ten European 
sovereigns, was married to the Reverend Samuel 
Whiting, and with him removed a few years later to 
America, where she ended her days at Lynn, Massa- 
chusetts. In the following century the Whitings 
intermarried with the Brainard family, one of whom, 
named Martha^ was wedded to Joseph Cone, a naval 
officer in the revolutionary war. His youngest son 
named Timothy, a native of East Haddam, Massachu- 
setts, settled early in the present century near Mari- 
etta, Ohio, where he remained until his decease in 
1864, his business being that of a merchant and 
farmer, and was esteemed as one of the most respected 
members of the community. Here was born on the 
26th of August, 1822, Joseph Spencer, the seventh 
of his ten children. Of noble lineage, a more unaf- 
fected and thorough going American, despising cant 
and humbug and modern snobbery cannot be found 

Until reaching his twenty-second year Joseph 
worked on his father's farm, making the best of such 
scantv educational facilities as the neighborhood 
afforded. His choice inclined toward a profession, 
especially to that of the law, and had he selected 1?his 
career, he would, beyond a doubt, have achieved suc- 
cess, for he possessed a full share of the qualities 
required for tliis calling, soundness of judgment and 

C. B.— III. 12 


a ready wit, coupled with a remarkable force of char- 
acter and an almost unlimited capacity for work. 
But this was not to be, and fortunate it proved for his 
adopted state and perhaps for himself, that, while los- 
ing a good lawyer, his country gained the assistance 
of one whose later services in developing the resources 
of northern California it is impossible to overesti- 

But Mr Cone was resolved to make his own way 
in the world, and as a beginning set forth in 1843, 
upon attaining his majority, on a trading exposition 
among the Cherokee Indians, with the results of 
which he had no reason to be dissatisfied. From that 
date until 1850 the incidents of his career contained 
nothing worthy of special mention. In the spring of 
this year the excitement that followed the discovery 
of gold being then at its height, he joined a company 
of adventurous spirits like himself bound for Califor- 
nia, starting from Jasper county, Missouri, and 
following the banks of the north Platte to the neigh- 
borhood of Fort Laramie. Here he became wearied 
with the slow and tedious travel of the wagon-trains, 
and with four others, packing their effects on horse- 
back, made their way to Green river, where, as he 
supposed, a settlement was near at hand. Mean- 
while their animals had been stolen by the Piutes, and 
now provisions ran short, so that for a fortnight they 
were compelled to live on crow soup, to which were 
added a few teaspoon fuls of flour. At length, how- 
ever, all arrived in safety at Nevada City, following 
exactly the route afterward selected by the Central 
Pa^'ific railroad. 

Here, and at Newcastle and Ophir, Mr Cone 
engaged for a time in mining with varying success. 
During the dry winter of 1851, while working in the 
placer ditrgings at Ophir, he became deeply involved 
in debt, as were his comrades, and indeed the entire 
ramp, for while awaiting the rains their claims yielded 
them no revenue, and meanwhile the most extrava- 


gant prices were charged for supplies. For provisions 
of every description — flour, bacon, coffee, sugar, and 
even salt, the price was invariably fifty cents a pound, 
while for shovels, worth a dollar apiece, the charge 
was twenty -four dollars, and for a pair of common gum 
boots sixteen dollars. Within a few weeks afcer the 
rains had set in, however, the miners had cleared off 
their debts, and the more fortunate among them had 
accumulated besides a considerable surplus. 

Mr Cone was now satisfied with his mining experi- 
ence, and in the mean time had already found other 
occupation, making what were termed "shakes" out 
of the tall sugar- pine trees that grew in the neighbor- 
hood of Nevada City, and selling them for ten cents 
a foot, thus often earning from tvv^enty-five to thirty 
dollars for a few hours' work. Later he en'^-aoed in 
the freighting busmess, conveying supplies from Sac- 
ramento, and selling them to miners at a handsome 
profit. Often, as he relates, when his stock was not 
all disposed of, he would pile up what remained in his 
cabin, and permit the miners to help themselves. In 
no instance was his confidence abused, though his 
stores were unguarded, and no check was placed on 
those who removed them, for always on tlie following- 
Sunday tliey would return and pav in full for all they 
had taken. In this line of business he continued 
until November 1853, when he returned to his home 
in Ohio, disposing of his teams to his brother, who 
had recently joined him at Nevada City. 

But like others of the argonauts who had enjoyed 
the freedom and excitament of pioneer life in Califor- 
nia, he could not rest content amid the restraints and 
social conventionalities of an eastern community. In 
the spring of 1854, therefore, we find him on his way 
across the plains from Missouri, in charge of a band 
of cattle, which, after a six months' trip, he disposed 
of in the mining towns for more than double their cost. 

After engagmg meanwhile in various occupations, 
in 1857 he purchased land on Alder creek, Tehama 


county, California, where three years later he made 
his lieadquarters, stocking it with cattle bought in 
Tehama and Colusa, for which he found a market in 
Placer and Nevada counties. For the most part liis 
business was profitable, although in the disastrous 
seasons of 1861-2 he suffered in common with other 
stock-raisers. Later he disposed of most of his herds, 
and employed himself in sheep-raising, in which indus- 
try he is still largely interested. 

In 1868 he sold his property at Alder creek for 
$12,000, and purchased the farm of which he is stiil 
the owner, in the neighborhood of Red Bluff, at first 
consisting of about 16,000 acres, but increased from 
time to time by additional areas, until it now includes 
nearly 100,000 acres. This estate, which is now 
worth many times the original purchase money of 
$50,000, he ac(|uired almost by accident. In that 
year its proprietors. Woodward and Northam, appeared 
before the board of equalization to obtain a reduction 
in their assessment to $50,000, which sum, they stated, 
they were willing to accept for the property. Meet- 
ing one of these gentlemen by chance, Mr Cone 
remarked: "That was all nonsense, I suppose, you 
were saying to the board to-day." " No, it is not," 
he replied; "so far as I am concerned, I would not 
take the trouble of travelling all this way by the stage 
to look after my interest in the tract," Thereupon 
Mr Cone offered to purchase the land, and after some 
negotiations the bargain was completed. 

Here, indeed, was Mr Cone's opportunity. Hith- 
erto he had drifted with no special aim beyond get- 
tmg ahead in the world, his character no doubt 
developing, but his life was moved by no high pur- 
pose, nor was it put under the strain of any great 
undertakinsj. He now saw rising before his awakened 
vision a great estate. A large debt was to be incurred ; 
new and largjer resources than he had ever before 
been taxed for were demanded, but in his reserve 
power they were slumbering, and came at bis bidding. 


To most men there comes at some time the one oppor- 
tunity which seized leads to fortune or to fame; tlie 
tide rises in the aftairs of most men at least once, but 
it is the man who has the skill and courage to mount 
the crest and ride it whom we are called upon to 
enroll among the successful men of the world. Mr 
Cone saw the wave, mounted it, and has never been 
submerged by it. 

I cannot stop to trace that struggle, full of lessons 
and rich with human experiences. Out of it came 
riches, honor, a well-rounded character, and a life full 
of personal achievements worthy of all praise. This 
is a history teaching by example ; this is a leaf from 
the book of success to which the youth may safely 
turn for guidance. Mr Cone not only made the farm 
pay for itself, but its earnings have enabled him to 
very greatly improve the lands originally purchased, 
and to largely expand the original area, and develop 
one of the finest tracts on the American continent ; 
and besides, the earnings of this land have made it 
possible to acquire other large and valuable properties 
in the county. 

He seemed to have that mystical touch born to 
but comparatively few men which turns into gold 
what before appeared to possess but little value. 
With large unemployed means, he was able to take 
advantage of those opportunities always offering in 
periods of change, such as have occurred in northern 
California during the last six years, and his landed 
possessions, lying in one unbroken body, almost equal 
in extent a single state of this union which may be 
named. And yet it is all managed so quietly, and 
with so little apparent effort, that it is difficult at 
times to realize that but one hand is at the helm. 

As a typical California rancho, one of the class soon 
to be dismembered and subdivided under our sys- 
tem of laws which admits of no entailment, there is 
perhaps no finer one in the entire state. It is situated 
on the east bank of the Sacramento river, and extends 


from a point near the town of Red Bluff, south, for a 
distance of about fourteen miles, and thence eastward, 
embracing the entire valley lands and reaching into 
the foothills back against the Sierra for a distance, 
varying in width, from some ten to twelve miles, 
with an area of not far from 100,000 acres. The 
quality of the soil and its location adapts the prop- 
erty to all kinds of farming operations, and every 
variety is found conducted on a very extensive scale. 
Two fine mountain streams, the Antelope and Mill 
creeks, come from the Sierra and cross this property, 
emptying into the Sacramento river. Their waters 
can be spread upon every inch of the valley lands. 
The farming operations are conducted from two cen- 
tral points, about six miles apart. 

The movement of men and animals and implements 
necessary to plant, cultivate, and harvest the crops 
upon this vast property as they go from these head- 
quarters, resemble more the movements of great 
armies than any scenes with which ordinary farmers 
in other countries are at all familiar. At different 
points and in localities specially adapted to the pur- 
pose, are large orchards and gardens, carried on to 
supply the neighborhood and lor shipments abroad. 
While most of the products known to farming life in 
California are grown here, the chief product for mar- 
ket is wheat, of which he produces 125,000 bushels. 
Connected with the farming operations, and con- 
ducted on quite an extensive scale, are also sheep and 
wool interests. There are at present grazing upon 
the foothill lands, on the eastern boundary of the 
tract along the mountain side, about thirty thousand 
sheep. These sheep are brought from the mountains, 
from their summer range in Lassen county to the 
rancho in the fall of the year, when they are put upon 
the stubble and are sheared, doctored, and grazed, 
until the feed of the valley is eaten off, then they are 
removed into the hills, by which time the fall rains 
have brought on the green grasses. They are here 


grazed until the spring grasses begin to dry. Mean- 
while the lambing season has come and passed, the 
lambs are marked and the sheep are redipped and 
branded, and again taken to their summer range in 
the mountains. This is one of the most interesting 
as well as profitable branches of the extensive opera- 
tions carried oh upon this farm. The wool output of 
the rancho is about 275,000 pounds. Some cattle 
are raised upon the place, but to no large extent, Mr 
Cone's fancy running more particularly to sheep, in 
which lie never lost faith, even under the depressing 
influences of the reduced tariff. He kills, packs, and 
cures annually about five or six hundred head of hogs. 
In later years, although somewhat reluctantly, he is 
turning his attention to fruit-planting, and on his farm 
are now to be found, under successful cultivation, 
almost all the fruits known to our wonderful climate, 
including orangesand lemons, among citrus fruits, and 
all of the deciduous fruits grown in the state of 
California. He has one young orchard of Bartlett 
pears coming on, of ten thousand trees. Like all the 
wheat-growers and stockmen, he expresses some doubts 
about the ultimate profits of fruit-growing, and yet 
has yielded to the general judgment upon that sub- 
ject so far as to plant quite largely. 

On Antelope creek he has recently erected a water- 
power, and is now lighting the town of Red Bluff with 
electricity over a circuit of about sixteen miles from 
this power and he also lights his residence and barns 
by this means. 

A great deal of the land now under cultivation was 
densely wooded when he took possession of the prop- 
erty, and covered with underbrush ; but he has cleared 
it off" at great expense, and he is even yet carrying on 
this improvement and clearing land that costs from 
fifty to seventy-five dollars to bring into a state of 
cultivation. Large oak-trees are standing at inter- 
vals over these valley lands, which are left both for 
their occasional crops of acorns, and as adding a charm 


to the landscape effect Indeed, looking over the 
property from a distance, it presents more the appear- 
ance of a cultivated orchard or a park than of exten- 
sive wheat fields. Probably no less than one hundred 
men find employment on this property through- 
out the entire year, and during the season of their 
busiest work, the harvest and planting seasons, there 
are not often less than five hundred men engaged in 
the various occupations. The striking feature in the 
management which presents itself to an observer is 
that all of this great work goes on with little friction 
and display, and with little red tape. The usual 
corps of superintendents and foremen found on many 
large properties of the kind are here entirely wanting. 
No high salaries are paid ; no complicated book-keep- 
ino;, and no series of " subs " throuo-h which orders 
are to pass before they reach the men who are to 
execute them. The management is in striking con- 
trast with some of the large ranches in the state, 
where there has been much less prosperity; and to this 
direct and efficient management must be attributed 
largely the success of the proprietor. An account of 
all the sales, settlement with the men and their pay- 
ment, keeping accounts with men, and in fact, the 
entire book-keeping of the place is performed by a man 
whose wages cannot exceed over sixty or seventy dol- 
lars per month, and who does a great deal besides 
attending to that part of the business. The eflB- 
ciency of the men in all branches of the work is attrib- 
utable not to a system of surveillance by various head 
men and foremen, but to the accurate knowledge of 
details of the proprietor himself, and his unvar3nng 
judgment as to when a man is doing an honest day's 
work, and is doing it rightly and properly. All the 
employes feel that they are liable at any moment to 
have their work subjected to the scrutiny of the pro- 
prietor, and aside from ihe advantages which this sj-s- 
tem gives, of obviating all collusive arrangements 
between the employes and the various foremen and 


superintendents, there is the feeling among the men 
that the approval or disapproval of the proprietor 
himself is liable to be given ever}^ day. With all 
these apparently great business burdens upon his 
mind, no man takes life seemingly more easy than 
Mr Cone himself. 

He visits his store and bank in town nearly every 
day, with which he is in telephonic communication 
from his residence, as he is also with the lower head- 
quarters of his farm. 

He takes a very lively interest in all local affairs of 
the county, and is quick to respond to all efforts 
toward populating northern California, and is, in fact, 
one of the most enterprising men of the county. 

Few men reach the highest walks of life before 
marriage. Mr Cone had only partly formed his 
character and partly laid the foundation for his for- 
tune before he turned his attention toward matrimony. 
While living upon Alder creek, in Tehama county, in 
the year 1867, finding that it was not good to live 
alone, he went back to his native state, where he 
married the daughter of Colonel Reppert, a young 
woman of cultivated tastes, who returned with him, 
and shared the vicissitudes and deprivations of a social 
life incident to stock-raising and stock ranchos in the 
earlier days of California. She has been his constant 
companion through all his experiences and successes, 
and has borne to him two daughters and one son, who 
are promising scions of a parentage representing the 
better type of American citizenship. These children 
have been given such advantages as our state has 
afforded consistent with the desire of their parents 
to have them as near to them as possible. They 
attended school at the local academies in Red Bluff 
in early years, and later were sent to the higher 
schools of San Francisco and Oakland. 

The only son, Douglas S. Cone, was married in 
January 1889, and is now living with his parents, and 
doing his part in managing the property. With the 


view of promoting the establishmeat of a lumber 
enterprise in the vicinity, Mr Cone in 1871-2 extended 
aid to the founding of the Antelope Flume and Lum- 
ber company. This was the first attempt to trans- 
port lumber in California by means of the V-shaped 
flume. The enterprise failed in 1874, and Mr Cone 
had to take the property for payment. He operated 
it one year, and it finally fell into the hands of the 
Sierra Lumber company, who are now successfully 
carrying it on. 

In the following year, in conjunction with Charles 
Cadwallader, he established at Red Bluff the bank of 
Tehama county, with a capital of $300,000. Of this 
institution he has been vice-president since its organi- 
zation, and has taken an active part in its manage- 
ment. It is one of the most successful banks in the 
state. He is also the head of the large mercantile 
house of Cone, Kimball, and company. Of the details 
of the business he knows nothing, but as to questions 
of policy — when to buy and where to sell products 
such as wheat, wool, and fruits, in which they deal 
largely, his partner, Major Kimball, finds in hiui a wise 
and saixacious counsellor. 

A man of positive chaiacter in the conduct of busi- 
ness and in the afl:airs of life, like Mr Cone, is expected 
to have decided religious and political opinions. 

In politics he has been an advanced republican, and 
in the early days of the rebellion, when public senti- 
ment in California was very much divided, and the 
southern population that had flowed to this coast 
threatened to take our state into the ranks of seces- 
sion, Mr Cone was very pronounced and active in his 
efforts to stay the current of disloyalty that was run- 
niny" throua;h the land. He does not think that the 
time has come, or will ever come, when our govern- 
ment can afford to forgive the oreat crime of rebellion, 
for to him it was a crime. While he has a side of his 
nature as gentle and as soft as a woman's, and is open 
to sympathy and kindliness, yet he can never be made 


to feel that those who participated in the rebellion 
should be placed upon the same footing and accorded 
the same honors, and receive the same rewards from 
the government, either as pensioners or otherwise, as 
those who fought to defend the union. The senti- 
mental side of his nature, while very strong, would 
never so far take possession of his sense of justice and 
right as to permit the line between loyalty and dis- 
loyalty to be eradicated. 

Upon the great question of protection to American 
industries, which in more recent years has come to be 
the principle of the republican party, as contradistin- 
guished from the doctrine of tariff for revenue only, 
or of free trade, his opinions are very pronounced 
and very strong. He attributes the enormous expan- 
sion of our home industries, and the great prosperity 
that has attended the country since the war, to the 
principle of protection. No amount of "soft-sawder" 
could make him see that he could successfully grow 
wool in competition with the pauper labor and untaxed 
grazing lands of other countries; nor could he be made 
to see why the woollen industries of the country 
should be ruthlessly sacrificed to the doctrines of free 
trade while other and less important industries were 
receiving the protection of high rates of tariff. His 
recent trip throughout the countries of Europe has 
given him opportunities to observe their methods, 
their rates of wages, and the chances for competition 
which the Americans have over the people of other 
countries, and with his wonderful power for practical 
application of facts, the argument to his mind in favor 
of protection seems overwhelming. 

Upon the question which, in his mind, is soon to 
be the most important one in politics, to wit, that of 
foreign immigration, his views are equally pronounced. 
He is a thoroughgoing American, and believes in 
restriction of immigration and radical changes in our 
naturalization laws. He thinks that our population 
is now so great, and our industries of every descrip- 


tion SO well established, that whatever argument once 
may have obtained in favor of unrestricted immigra- 
tion, in order to people the country and add to the 
number of wage-workers, that day is passed and that it 
is the highest duty of the government now to provide 
for the coming millions of our own race, who, in the 
natural course of increase of population, must demand 
the riii'ht to our soil and to the fruits of our union. 

Upon the question of religion, while not a com- 
municant of any church, his convictions are very 
strong, and his reverence for religion and religious 
work is undoubted. He contributes freely and hber- 
ally to the support of various churches ; but inclines 
psrsonally, by reason of early associations, and con- 
nections of his parents, to the presbyterian faith. If 
he had spent his years in the older and more populous 
co.ninuiiities of the country, the bent of his mind, and 
the natural gentleness of his disposition, and the 
impiUei of his emotional nature would have doubtless 
led hi'n into active relations with the church. Living 
in C-ilifarnia, remote from churches, and in regions 
where churches were not generally established, he did 
not feel impelled to make any connection with any 
church body. But he is in no sense a so-called free- 
thinker, or disbeliever, but thinks on the contrary, 
that men of the class of Robert Ingersoll, and other 
promoters of unbelief, are doing a great harm in the 
world, that they are undermining and overthrowing a 
faith which brings comfort and consolation to many, 
and are offering nothing in its place, and his mind 
revolts at the harm thus done. 

Mr Cone was never a candidate for office and never 
held office but once. He was one of the first board 
of railroad commissioners selected under the new con- 
stitution of 1879. His connection with that board 
deserves more than a passing notice. It was an 
important public trust in the jierformance of which he 
did not escape public criticism, however undeserved 
it was, 


Under the new constitution, adopted by the state, 
which went into effect in 1879, a new and altogether 
untried experiment was entered upon by creating a 
board called the board of railroad commissioners ; 
who were invested with extraordinary powers upon 
the subject of establishing and regulating charges for 
transportation of passengers and freight by railroad 
and other transportation lines. In every other state 
in the union these boards are the creatures of the 
legislatures and possess only such powers as are con- 
ferred upon them from time to time by the legislative 
body ; the legislature always reserving the right to 
ultimate control. 

In this state, however, under the excitement which 
prevailed among the people on various subjects relat- 
ing to the internal affairs of the state, aniong them 
being the important question of transportation, a dis- 
trust of the legislature had grown up, and instead of 
bringing to bear, as was done in other states, a public 
sentiment, ultimately by its force compelling the 
legislature to yield to the demands of the people, they 
entered upon the novel scheme of taking all this 
power from the legislature and conferring it upon a 
board of tliree persons, to be elected by the people, 
and this plan was ultimately worked out in the new 
constitution, so that there no longer rests in the legis- 
lature any power whatever to legislate upon this very 
important subject, but all authority is vested in this 
so-called board of railroad commissioners. 

Both by the constitution and the act of the legisla- 
tures subsequently passed to give effect to the consti- 
tution, the broadest and most comprehensive powers 
were conferred upon the board, embracing legislative, 
executive, and judicial functions ; the power to make 
the regulation, to interpret it, and to execute it. No 
thoughtful man can help at least doubting the wisdom 
of such a great departure from the usual course of 
legislation, such an absolute surrender on the part of 
the people, of powers which can only be regained 


throup"!! an amendment of the constitution. And 
under all lies the graver doubt of the power of the 
people to create, practically, a fourth department of 
government, while declaring that all power is vested 
in but three departments. 

The legislature had attempted reforms in railroad 
management, through the boards of its own creation, 
w^ith limited and practically emasculated powers, and 
nothing had been accomplished in the way of reliev- 
ing the burdens believed by the people to be put upon 
them by the transportation companies. The public 
mind, however, which had inspired this remarlsable 
departure and had created this unprecedented body, 
was not in any temper calculated to do justice to any 
persons who might take hold of the very complicated 
subject and attempt to bring about an intelligent 
reformation of the alleged and real abuses. 

The surprise to Mr Cone when he found himself 
the republican candidate for railroad commissioner 
from the first district was very great, because he 1 ad 
never held public office nor been a candidate, either 
in this state or elsewhere, for any office whatever. 
In casting about to find a person in whom were to be 
found those qualities of honesty, firmness, and good 
judgment necessary to the performance of the high 
duty soon to be devolved upon this board, the repub- 
lican convention, with but little dissent, turned towards 
this unambitious, modest, yet most successful, man of 
business. There never was any question after the 
organization of the board but that he was the strong- 
est and ablest man upon it, and he necessarily became 
its president. There are few more conspicuous pub- 
lic offices in the state. Much was expected of the 
members, and liad Mr Cone given way to any ambi- 
tious motive to reach the governorship in this state 
his pathway was simple and easy ; by assuming an 
attitude of unrelenting hostilitA^ to the transportation 
companies. There is no doubt but that the mass of 
people would have justified any arbitrary action, how- 


ever unjust, without stopping to reflect that serious, 
complicated, and protracted Utigation would have 
inevitably followed,, and no practical results have been 

Mr Cone, however, was not the type of man to give 
way to any such unworthy motive, or to make his 
o!^r;e the avenue of self-aggrandisement. He had 
lived a simple and unostentatious life, and no hope of 
political preferment could sliake his determination to 
co:itinue to act as he always had, with a view to the 
rights and privileges of others. He chose a brave, 
conservative policy, from an honest sense of his 
rasponsibility and a fearless resolve to do as nearly 
right as it was possible for him to see the right. No 
one of the thousands of early and later Californians 
who have had long and intimate business and personal 
relations with him ever gave a second thought to the 
brutal suggestion that money influenced him in the 
discharge of his duties. He was a rich man when 
elected to ofBce, with an income from his established 
business of over $50,000 per annum ; his tastes and 
wants were as simple as a proper regard for economy 
would exact from a person of one-fiftieth his income; 
no amount of money could have contributed in any 
way to his happiness or pleasure in life. In the 
absence of motive and proof, and in the light of the 
well-established points in his character, it would be 
the grossest injustice to impute any dishonest thoughts, 
from first to last, during his short and only career as 
a public officer. No clearer or more satisfactory 
statement of the moving causes and underlying motive 
of his policy can be given than is presented by the 
supplemental report which he made to the governor 
in connection with the more elaborate report of the 
board of the third and last year of their transactions. 
It is just and fair, and is due to Mr Cone in any 
study of his character and life, that this report should 
be given at length, 

" I have united with my remaining colleague in 


the foregoing report," says Mr Cone in his sup- 
plemental report, " because I believe the general 
principles therein set forth and discussed are in the 
main right, and should control the action of any one 
who sincerely desires to be gjuided by just and correct 
views of the high and responsible duties devolved 
upon this board. It will not surprise me to find 
those principles controverted by persons who have 
not time or disposition to examine them in the light 
of experience and the laws governing commercial rela- 
tions throughout the world. But sooner or later, 
whatever may be the specific action of my successors 
in specific cases, they must, to effect permanent good, 
hold themselves amenable to that experience and 
those laws. While this is true, I have been governed 
in some respects in my action as commissioner by 
views not always shared by my colleagues, but which 
I believed would result in most usefulness to the 
public. It is to give expression briefly to some of 
these views, and to place more specifically before my 
constituents the governing motive of my action, that 
I submit this supplemental report. 

''Without doubt the public would have applauded 
the board if it had, without investigation or consider- 
ation, reduced all fares and freigjhts one-half. While 
recognizing fully my obligations to the people who 
elected me to office, I could not bring myself to 
believe that they had a right to expect ignorant and 
inconsiderate action at our hands, or action grossly 
unjust to the transportation companies. I believed 
then, and I believe now, that a reduction was right- 
fully demanded ; but I did not know it, and could not 
know it without investigation, nor could I know to 
what extent \eduction should be made, or in what 
manner it cr'uJd be best and most speedily attained. 

"My fir.<^.t efforts were directed to the question of 
cheapening the cost of getting the products of the soil 
to markbt. As a farmer myself, I had already found 
out t^at the producer in California was working 


under the disheartening fact that the great grain- 
producing region of the northwest, as far out as 
Dakota, was laying its products on the docks at Liv- 
erpool for so much less than we from this coast that 
we could not enter that market in competition at all, 
and often only at a loss, when farmers from that region 
were making large profits. It was plain to me that 
our producers travelled so comparatively little by rail 
that the gain to them by reducing fares was of trifling 
importance compared with reducing their freight 
charges on products of the soil, and hence this ques- 
tion received my first attention. 

''How to bring about relief in this direction, whether 
by litigation or by arbitration, had also to be deter- 
mined. On this point, at least, one of the board dif- 
fered from me. He was at that time opposed to 
having anything whatever to do with the railroad 
companies. His idea was to make reductions by the 
exercise of the powers of the board, and leave the 
consequences to take care of themselves; if litigation 
ensued, and our whole term was frittered away in the 
courts without results, nobody could blame the board, 
and so long as not blamed it would be measurably 
successful. I believed that by judicious, fair, and 
impartial treatment of the transportation companies 
much could be accomplished, and if not all we might 
wish, it would still be better than the loss of ever}- 
thing by the law's delays. The advantage of treating 
with the companies, instead of resorting to the courts, 
may be seen from the result of the suit brought to 
restrain the board from reo-ulatinof the coast lines of 
steamships. That action was brought in December 
1880 in the United States circuit court, and was soon 
after argued and submitted, and no decision has yet 
been rendered. When rendered, an appeal to the 
United States supreme court will involve one or two 
years more delay. Acting under this belief, I sought 
at once to acquaint myself with the disposition of the 
chief transportation company of the state towards 

C. B.-lIl. 13 


the board, and whether its purpose was to resist ali 
reductions, or whether it was wiUing to make con- 
cessions to the industries of the state. I found that 
great and hitherto all-powerful corporation disposed 
to enter upon the question of reduction of freights 
apparently in good faith, if the}^ could feel assured of 
being met with like good faith by the board. They 
did not want to be tricked into making concessions 
which the board would use only as a basis for still 
greater and arbitrary reductions, I saw no reason 
why I should not, as a public oflEicer, treat these cor- 
porations with fairness, and negotiate terms for the 
people if I could — falling back upon our powers when- 
ever compelled to resort to them — and I saw no 
reason why I should not avail myself of every oppor- 
tunity afforded me by resort to the companies' records 
at their offices, and by intercourse with their employes, 
in order the better to understand the complex duties 
of my office. In this view I was sustained by one 
member of the board only, the other apparently pre- 
ferring to accomplish nothing except by absolute non- 
intercourse and by arbitrary exercise of power. 

" The board visited nearly all the shipping points in 
the state ; held public meetings to which all persons 
were invited ; the wants of shippers were inqun^ed 
into and their importance considered. Meanwhile 
every opportunity offered by the companies to disclose 
the extent to which they would concede the terms 
asked by the people was taken advantage of, and a 
body of facts thus collected enabled a majority of the 
board to prepare a schedule of reduced freights, which, 
however little known to or appreciated by the peo- 
ple, I have the satisfaction of knowing has saved and 
will hereafter save to the producers very large sums 
of money. This schedule, after considerable hesita- 
tion and some reluctance, was consented to by the 
chief railway company, and was put in operation with- 
out resort to the courts, on June 1, 1881. It 
embraced the principal products of the state, to wit : 


Wheat, corn, barley, oats, rye, flour, and mill stuffs, 
cattle, sheep, hogs, and wool. Any one who will take 
the trouble to consult this schedule, or will compare 
his shipping receipts for 1880 with those of 1881 
(after June) will see that he has a net gain, through 
the interference of this board, of from twenty-five to 
thirty-three per cent. If he will compute the saving 
to the people of the state he will see that it amounts 
to several hundred thousand dollars per annum, and 
this advantage will increase every year. I desire also 
to say, that in nearly every instance the reduction was 
entirely satisfactory to the people who came before 
us, and was as great as was demanded by them. This 
schedule went into force without the assent or coop- 
eration of the minority member of the board, who 
still adhered to his purpose of doing nothmg to which 
the transportation companies would assent. 

" Parallel with our investigations upon this branch 
of our duties, we were also gathering facts and 
acquainting ourselves with the more difficult question 
of a general freight tariff on goods shipped to the 
interior, and upon the question of fares. Upon the 
general classification of freights we were met and 
beset by the most complex difficulties, and I regret 
that so little substantial good was accomplished in 
that direction. 

" Upon the matter of the reduction of fares we had 
the same friendly assurances from the companies most 
interested that we had received as to freights and pro- 
ducts of the soil, but we were besought not to press 
action upon them concurrently with freight reductions, 
because of the disastrous effect it might have upon 
their struggle to complete their through line to the 
Atlantic seaboard. This latter great enterprise I had 
come to regard as the most important source of relief 
to the chief industry of the state ever yet undertaken. 
We had long been completely at the mercy of the 
ocean vessels, and by combinations of tonnage our 
farmers were practically working for speculators, and 


were absolutely helpless. The cheapening of freights 
to the bay of San Francisco only added to the gains 
of tonnage buyers. The Liverpool market had no 
controlling interest on prices here, but they were 
regulated by ocean charges. We saw the western 
fanners making money while we were cultivating the 
soil and shipping our vastly superior wheat at a loss. 
I saw no relief except through the controlling power 
of the Southern Pacific railroad ; and being assured 
that by this route wheat could be laid down in Liver- 
pool for a rate never afterward to exceed fifteen dol- 
lars per ton as against twenty-two and twenty-five 
dollars per ton, which we had been pa3dng by ocean, 
I felt it an imperative obligation upon me to abstain 
from any official action wliich might seriously cripple 
this means of relief, and destroy a possible saving to 
the state of from $3,000,000 to $7,000,000 annually 
in the near future. It seemed to me suicidal to need- 
lessly impede the progress of this important outlet. 

" After, however, the southern route was assured, 
and the non-action of our board was no longer impor- 
tant, I renewed my efforts to have the companies 
revise and reduce fares, and I was informed that it 
would be done. In nearly every portion of the state 
they established a practical reduction by introducing 
reduced round-trip tickets and putting on second-class 
cars ; still this did not seem to me to quite meet their 
duty to the public or their promises, and at length, 
despairing of securing the reduction without the exer- 
cise of the power of the board, I introduced a resolu- 
tion fixing the maximum of four cents per mile. 

"The efforts I have made to secure the passage of 
the resolution are fresh and need not be recalled. I 
had no doubt that I could count now upon the coop- 
eration of the minority member, who had all along 
affected to want to do what this resolution proposed. 
He became the candidate of one of the political par- 
ties of the state for governor and was elected. All 
his previous pledges, and every sense of duty, seemed 


to me to require that he should remain on this board 
until some action was taken as to fares. Numerous 
and high precedents were at hand for his continuini^ 
to exercise the powers of railroad commissioner up to 
the time of his induction into office as governor; there 
was no possible or conceivable impropriety in it what- 
ever; the people had a right to expect this of him; 
he, however, made haste to resign, and at the last I 
stood alone to record my vote for a reduction of fares. 

" In taking leave of my office as railroad commis- 
sioner, I do so with a consciousness of havingf endeav- 
ored to serve the people faithfully as far as I could 
from my standpoint. Freights have been very mate- 
rially reduced, and fares also to a large extent. I 
fully realize that much more remains to be done, but 
looking back I am still convinced that had the board 
forced the issue into the courts we would be to-day 
where we were three years ago, and our producing 
classes would have suffered immeasurably more than 
they have by the course pursued. However perma- 
nent and substantial have been these benefits to the 
public, I cannot hope at this time for a fair judgment 
from a people who have so recently elevated to a high 
place the one member of the board who has refused 
to take part in the only measures of relief proposed, 
and who at the last turned away from performing a 
signal act of duty plainly incumbent upon him. If I 
was mistaken in my judgment as to how best to per- 
form my duties, I can in all faith submit the rectitude 
of my conduct to the scrutiny of the world. 

''J. S. Cone." 

Mr Cone brought to tlie performance of his duties 
no practical knowledge of railroading or railroad oper- 
ations, or the so-called science of transportation, or 
the laws groverninfi: it. Neither had his associates, 
General Stoneman and Mr Beerstecher, any knowl- 
edge of the subject. They found themselves with 
these vast powers, and with our entire system of 
transportation to a degree at liheir mercy ; and with 


the exception of Mr Cone there was no other member 
of the board who can be said to have had any wide 
experience in affairs, and at least one of them had 
none whatever. Naturally Mr Cone became presi- 
dent of the board, and by reason of his larger experi- 
ence in business affairs, and contact with business 
men through his varied interests as rancher, mer- 
chant, and banker he became the leading spirit of the 

A reduction in freights amounting from twenty -five 
to thirty-three per cent upon the chief agricultural 
products of the state secured by the board was a pro- 
digious gain to the people, and as, under the law, 
freights once reduced could not be again raised above 
the point of reduction, this immense gain was perma- 
nent. It needs but little reflection to see how great 
this advantage was, and if nothmsf more had been 
accomplished by this board in its three years' official 
existence, the people of this state can well afford to 
acknowledge a debt of gratitude for such services; 
but a great deal more was in fact accomplished. A 
great many inequalities were corrected in their freight 
schedules, and practical reductions secured. That 
Mr Cone's efforts to secure reductions in fares, as 
he explains, should have been ultimately thwarted 
through the finesse of the transportation companies, 
the unkindly, unnecessary, and precipitate resignation 
of General Stoneman, together with the persistent 
absence of the commissioner Beerstecher while Mr 
Cone was urging a vote on his proposition to reduce 
fares to a uniform rate of four cents per mile, formed 
the chief and only great disappointment of Mr Cone's 
term of office. He found himself at last standing 
alone, deserted by the member who all along had 
insisted on this very reduction, and unable to secure 
a vote by reason of deliberate absenteeism of his other 
associate, without whose vote he was powerless to 
secure official action. ^ His efforts, however, in that 
direction must have created some impression upon 


the transportation companies, and must have put them 
in a position where they dare not long refuse to make 
this concession, for it is known that within a few 
months after Mr Cone's term of ofiSce expired the 
railroad company did in fact adopt a schedule of uni- 
form rates on the basis of four cents per mile. The 
board succeeding the Cone board, and composed of 
Carpenter, Humphreys, and Foot, all of whom, except 
Mr Carpenter, differed from Mr Cone politically, in 
their annual report to the governor have this to say of 
Mr Cone's efforts in securing: a reduction of freiohts : 

"Prior to the present term of this office but one 
schedule of charges for transportation liad been estab- 
lished or adopted by any commission in this state. 
That was introduced by Commissioner Cone, and 
went into effect on the first day of June 1881. It 
made reductions of from twenty-five to thirty per 
cent on preexisting rates for the carriage of wheat, 
corn, oats, barley, flour, millstufl^s, cattle, sheep, hogs, 
and v/ool. It went into force with the reluctant 
acquiescence of the leading company in interest; for 
that reason it was probably less appreciated by those 
who hold that thus often was created prolonged con- 
troversy, or to provoke litigation. But it was none 
the less a substantial benefit." 

It is, perhaps, a source of gratification to Mr Cone 
in looking back over the years that have elapsed since 
his retirement from office, as it must also be to his 
many friends, that his successors in the last five or 
six years — able and conscientious though they were 
— have found this perplexing question of transporta- 
tion in all its ramifications so difficult that, with all 
their endeavor, there has not been so relative a change 
to the benefit of the shippers and patrons of the trans- 
portation lines as there was during his term. Each 
successive board has only confirmed the belief always 
entertained by Mr Cone's friends — that during his 
term of office he entertained as broad and comprehen- 
sive a view of the question, and acted with as great 


intelligence and sound judgment as have been brought 
to bear on this very complex question by any of his 
successors. The hot blood which ran through the 
political currents of Mr Cone's time has greatly cooled, the agrarian sentiment which would have confis- 
cated the transportation properties of the state in 
those days is fast settling down into the belief that 
the relations existing between tlie people and the 
common carriers of the state have to be considered 
and dealt with as any other relation, and with the 
same spirit of fairness. 

With that unusual ability for directing affairs and 
placing in charge men who are competent to cairy 
out his plans, notwithstanding the long and frequent 
periods of absence from business at his home in Tehama 
county while railroad commissioner, Mr Cone's pri- 
vate business affairs progressed with but little appar- 
e it diminution of favorable results. The same habits 
of economy, the same simple tastes which had char- 
acterized the man before, attended him throughout 
his offioial life and accompanied him back to his retire- 
mant to private life ; as before, so afterwards, the 
sima business success attended him. The mercantile 
business, of which he was the head ; the banking 
house, of which he was the main prop; the farming 
operations, which were among the largest carried on 
in the state, continued to increase in importance and 
magnitude, and into their management he dropped 
again as naturally and easily as though he had never 
been absent, and no one would have supposed from 
any change in his manner or habits, that any newer or 
broader experiences had been introduced into his life. 

The most striking instance of his tenacity of pur- 
pose, self-control and strength of character is found 
in the fact that he has been for several years a great 
sufferer from a kidney trouble, which finally compelled 
him, a year and a half ago, to suspend all business 
management. However, after most men would have 
surrendered and given up the fight, he continued to 


manage his affairs, without even his most intimate 
friends realizing how great a sufferer he was. But 
when the time came and he was fully convinced that 
he must seek relief, he acted with that same prompti- 
tude and determination that has always characterize'! 
him, and upon very short notice to his friends, and 
with a feeling that he might never return again to 
behold the monuments of his enterprise, everywhere 
to be seen in this country, he sailed for Europe, and 
after an absence of six or eight months, returned very 
much relieved, and to all appearance has many years 
of usefulness yet before him. 

In personal appearance, since his recent illness, Mr 
Cone has very much changed. Six or eight years 
ago he was a man quite stout in appearance, sturdy 
looking, and slightly inclined to portliness. His 
height is five feet seven and a half inches, and his 
present weight is 165 pounds, a falling off of thirty or 
forty pounds. His features disclose the firmness of 
his character, and at the same time present a kindli- 
ness and gentleness of disposition apparently in con- 
tradiction to the sternness of his character in matters 
of business. In manner he is quite unobtrusive, with 
a gentle voice, and rarely giving way to impulsive 
expressions, or evidencing mental excitement. His 
great power of self-control holds in restraint whatever 
of the impulsive nature there may be in him. He 
converses well, expresses his ideas strongly and logic- 
ally, but has never attempted and probably would not 
succeed if he did attempt to express himself in a pub- 
lic speech. He writes well, and with considerable 
force and vigor, but concisely, and very much as he 
talks. He has a finely shaped head, and a forehead 
indicating intelligence, with an exceedingly bright and 
expressive eye, of a dark brown color. His hair, 
originally dark, is now frosted by the touch of time. 
He is a man very tenacious of his rights, and quick to 
resent any encroachment upon them. His success 
may be attributed, perhaps, as much as to any other 


cause, to the fact that he looks after the small things, 
which make up a part of the duties and business of 
his life. He insists, in business matters, upon a 
strict compliance with agreements, even in the sim- 
plest matters, and yet no man is more generous or 
more ready to compromise on broad principles in 
matters of larger moment. His memory has been 
very tenacious, although losing some of its power in 
later years, and this has given him great advantage, 
because he was rarely found at fault in matters rest- 
ing with the recollection. In all his transactions, 
this exacting disposition which insists upon a strict 
compliance with agreements has created an impres- 
sion upon some that he was unnecessarily harsh and 
unrelenting in business matters ; and yet those who 
have observed him most closely, and have known him 
best, concede that, after all, it is but an assertion of 
that principle of justice which runs through all his 
business relations. He is as quick to yield a point 
when he is wrong as he is to insist upon it when he 
is right, and his readiness to make liberal use of his 
money for the benefit of others, when the occasion 
offers, shows that his method of business is more the 
result of a fixed principle of action than of any harsh 
or severe disposition of mind. As an associate or 
partner in business, no man could be more delightful. 
He gives to his associate his entire confidence, never 
for a moment questioning his motives or his integrity, 
and only contending with him at times on matters of 
business policy. 

In his relations with the bank he has often been 
called upon to take a responsibility, which other offi- 
cers of the bank would not take, when the fate of 
some customer hung upon the decision, and in many 
such instances, well known in Tehama county, his 
judgment of men and of their ability to pay, and their 
honesty, has enabled him to save many persons from 
financial disaster by timely aid through the bank, 


himself taking the responsibility to order the loan, and 
in no instance being deceived. 

Another index of his character is seen in the strong 
friendships which surround him, and are drawn out by 
those who know him best. They will go to any 
trouble to serve him, not only because they are glad 
to submit to the leadership of so strong and well- 
developed a mind, but because of the friendship and 
affection for the man himself It w^ould be strantje if 
such a man escaped the enmity of others, and he has 
not escaped, but a man who acts from principles of 
right and justice, as he endeavors to do, rarely has 
many, and Mr Cone has but few who can be said to 
be personal enemies. 

He has never used his power and influence and 
money to oppress others. In the main his operations 
have been conducted and his money has been let in 
avenues where he was not brought in conflict often 
with the interests of others. On the contrary, in 
later 3^ears, since he has had an abundance of capital 
to use in his own business and a surplus besides, cir- 
cumstances are numerous where he has, by timely aid 
and by interposing when men were in financial trouble, 
been of verv o-reat service to his neigjhbors. 

A strictly moral man, in every sense of that word, 
leading an upright and blameless life, always just in 
his dealings, and ever ready to lend his advice and 
counsel, and often his purse, he has been consulted 
by many people in their private affairs, and has done 
much good as counsellor and friend. Because his 
ventures have almost always resulted in financial 
success, and because financial aid extended to friends 
has ordinarily been given under circumstances involv- 
ing no loss to him, some may have thought that he 
always had an eye to his own interest, and that 
underlj'ing his actions was a selfish motive of personal 
gain, but all this is entirely consistent with the char- 
acter I have given him, because with all there was 
that same unerring judgment which told him where 


and when to extend aid or enter upon a doubtful ven- 
ture. It was perfectly natural that he should come 
out successful, because his actions were prompted by 
his judgment, and his judgment being good the result 
was inevitable ; indeed, as all know, the useful man 
in society is the successful man. Others have attrib- 
uted his success to luck ; but the long course of deal- 
ings and the long experience in varied enterprises 
nearly all terminating successfully, cannot be accounted 
for on the theory of luck. The early battles fought 
and won by General Grant were attributed to the 
same cause, for the reason that those who had known 
him could not brinof themselves to regard him as a 
great general, and those who had not known him 
could not conceive of great success attending an 
obscure man except as arising from accident or luck. 
But when these successes became the rule of his life, 
his manoeuvres upon the field and his battles sur*- 
ceeding them resulting in victory upon victory people 
began then to analyze the character of the man, and 
inquire for a cause beyond tliat of accident ; and grad- 
ually he came to be looked upon as a great general, 
and as having within him the material out of which 
great generals are carved. So with Mr Cone; none 
but a superficial observer could refer the successes of 
his life to accident. 

Whether he will beft^re the close of his career ded- 
icate a portion of his well-earned wealth to some pub- 
lic charity or some public use can only be predicted, 
but not stated with any degree of certainty. His 
charities, however numerous and varied, are not her- 
alded, and if he has in his mind any unformed plan 
for leaving behind him some monument, in the shape 
of some public institution, it has not been disclosed 
beyond the very narrow circle of his most intimate 
friends. It is believed, however, that some such idea 
is in contemplation by him. 

He feels greatly attached to the county which has 
been the scene of his principal successes, and to the 


people among whom he has hved so many years, and 
it is believed that if he is spared to work out some 
practical method of public good he will do so. That 
he values education, and desires to see our educational 
institutions prosper, and that there should be a more 
general diffusion of knowledge than was obtainable in 
the days when he was a boy, his career affords many 
evidences. If he should bestow any public benefaction 
upon the community in which he lives, it will in all 
probability take shape in the form of some educational 

Many persons are wondering whether in his life- 
time this great property will be subdivided and opened 
to settlement. Upon this subject he has expressed 
himself as ready to enter upon the work of subdivi- 
sion as rapidly as other improvements seem to demand 
it. There is at this time a good deal of desirable 
land in the market in Tehama county, and there seems 
to be no pressing necessity for the dismemberment of 
the property in which he takes so much pleasure; but 
when the time comes the sacrifice will be made ; 
indeed, there is a very fine property for subdivision 
— some five or six thousand acres — south of Mill 
creek, and a part of the original Rio de los Molinos 
rancho, which he is now ready to separate and put 
upon the market. 

Such a man as we find Mr Cone to be could not 
fail in having a very great influence upon the people 
among whom he moves. It is difficult to measure 
the influence of such a man upon society and upon the 
rising generation, growing up w^ithin view of such an 
example ; in point of fact, notwithstanding the absorb- 
ing business which has engaged his attention for so 
many years, he has been very near the people, and 
has in many ways made his influence felt for good 
among them. 



Development op Manufactures — Ancestry and Education of John 
Bensley — Expebiences in Mexico — Comes to California — Merchan- 
dising, Steamboating, Gas, Water, Electric Lights, Rolling Mills, 
Irrigation, Oil and Lead Works, Dredging and Coal Interests — 
An Active and Useful Career. 

It has often been remarked by those who are famil- 
iar with the resources of CaUfornia that her manufac- 
turing interests will eventually exceed both mining 
and ao;riculture in the volume of their aojo-reojate 
wealth.. This prediction has already in a measure 
been fulfilled, and almost every year may be observed 
a steady increase in their amount, the total for 1888 
being estimated at $100,000,000. Not only does the 
manufacturer add a second value to the material fur- 
nished him by the farmer and stock-raiser, but the 
results of his operations are far-reaching in their influ- 
ence, affecting all classes of the community, widening 
the channels of trade, and giving employment to 
an army of workmen. To produce within a year 
$1,000 worth of wheat or gold or silver the labor of 
a single man may suffice, but to furnish $1,000 worth 
of manufactured fabrics a number of operatives must 
be employed. In supplying their needs others again 
find occupation, and thus through many ramifications 
the effect of these enterprises is plainly visible. Such 


^:^^^ /3. 


industries are, indeed, the very life-blood of a nation, 
and without tliem there can be no substantial pros- 

It was not until long after the gold discovery that 
manufactures on any large scale were considered pos- 
sible on the Pacific coast, or that any well-organized 
efforts were made to introduce them. While money 
commanded from one to two per cent a month on the 
very best security, there was little inducement to 
engrave in such adventures ; nor was it until the out- 
break of the civil war that any considerable impulse 
was received in this direction. Foremost among the 
pioneer manufacturers of California must be mentioned 
tlie late Mr John Bensley, to whom is due the estab- 
lishment of many of our earliest and most needed 

On the father's side Mr Bensley was descended 
from an ancient and long-lived family, belonging to 
the gentry of Wales, and were large landholders, 
whence, in 1631, his great-grandfather, David Bens- 
ley, removed to America, purchasing a tract of land 
in Massachusetts, near the site where now stands the 
town of Salem. Here he passed the remainder of his 
days, leaving six sons, one of whom named Joseph, 
bought an estate in Rhode Island. Joseph Bensley 
was the father of one daughter and seven sons, one 
of whom, named Jenks, married Miss Pauly Sweezey, 
a worthy young woman belonging to the old Puritan 
stock of New England, and afterward settled in Her- 
kimer county, New York, where was born, on the 
26th of December 1812, the gentleman whose biogra- 
phy is now presented to the reader. 

At the village school of Poland, in Herkimer 
county, Mr Bensley received his early education, 
proceeding thence to the Fairfield academ^^, and later 
to Columbia college, where he graduated in 1835. 
Returninof to his home, he remained for a time with 
his parents ; but the quiet, uneventful life of a fanner 
was not suited to a young man of his enterprise and 


ambition, and a few years later he set forth westward, 
journeying first to Chicago, at that date a mere fron- 
tier village. In 1839 he joined a party of Mexican 
traders, among whom were two prominent merchants 
from Chihuahua, who had obtained from the Mexican 
government the privilege of introducing goods free of 
duty for a term of five years, on condition of their 
opening an overland route from the borders of Texas 
to the capital. A company was organized, and its 
members proceeded to New Orleans, where they pur- 
chased a cargo of merchandise, and shipped it to 
Clarkesville, near the mouth of the Red river. Here 
an expedition was equipped, and with thirty wagons 
they started for Chihuahua, where they arrived in 
safety after three months' travel, though on several 
occasions encountering large bodies of hostile Indians, 
and were received by all classes of people with the 
heartiest welcome. Here, and in other portions of 
the republic, Mr Bensley engaged in mercantile busi- 
ness, and at the outbreak of the war between that 
country and the United States was a resident of the 
city of Mexico. 

At the beginning of the war, as it will be remem- 
bered, Santa Anna issued a proclamation ordering all 
American citizens to leave the country within thirty 
days. Thereupon Mr Bensley removed to Tampico, 
where he remained until after the surrender of Vera 
Cruz, in March 1847. At Tampico he chartered a 
ship, and loading her with mules shipped them to Vera 
Cruz, and sold them at remunerative prices to the 
quartermaster of the forces for fitting out the trans- 
portation train of General Scott's army for the city of 
Mexico. He now resolved to accompany the army, and 
on reaching the valley of Mexico raised a company of 
volunteers from among the camp-followers, and was 
unanimously chosen its captain, his command being 
assigned to General Smith's division, and taking part 
in the battle of Contreras in August of this year. 
The troops were now in want of provisions, and in the 


armistice which followed that engagement, it was 
stipulated that General Scott should be allowed to 
enter the city for supplies ; but when his wagon- train 
entered the capital, escorted by a party of dragoons, 
the men were plied with missiles from the housetops, 
and compelled to withdraw. Matters began to look 
serious, for stores of every description were almost 
exhausted, and there seemed little prospect of obtain- 
ing further supplies. But supplies they must have, 
and that at once, and without having recourse to 
measures that would arouse the hostility of the popu- 
lace. At this juncture General Robert Allen, the 
quartermaster-in-chief, sent for Captain Bensley, and 
asked him whether he could not obtain provisions and 
fodder in the city of Mexico, " I think I can," replied 
the captain, "or, at least, I will try." 

Assuming the garb of a Mexican Mr Bensley, who 
spoke the Spanish language, entered the city unmo- 
lested, with three hundred and fifty pack- mules and 
packers, loaded his train, and passed out of the city 
at the garaita on Main street leading to Chapultepec, 
and before nightfall returned in safety to camp, amid 
the acclamatims of his comrades. After this daring 
and successful feat, he closed a contract for supplying 
the army with beef, and this he held until the evacu- 
ation of the capital. Meanwhile he took part in the 
battle of Chapultepec, his command being now trans- 
ferred to Worth's division, and entered the city of 
Mexico with General Scott, remaininof there until 
June 1848, when he withdrew with the last detach- 
ment of United States troops. He then returned to 
New York, with a fortune of $160,000, most of which 
he had accumulated in Mexico, and with what he 
valued more, the consciousness of having rendered his 
country a timely and invaluable service. 

Soon afterward news was received of the gold dis- 
covery, and with General Allen and eight others he 
organized a company to proceed to California, each 
member contributing $10,000, or $100,000 in all, with 

C. B.-III. 14 


which they purchased the bark Eliza, loaded her with 
groceries, provisions, and such other articles as they 
thought would be most in demand, and despatched 
her to Sacramento by way of Cape Horn, In Feb- 
ruary 1849 Mr Benslcy himself took ship for San 
Francisco on board the Panama, one of the first 
steamers to enter the Golden Gate. Reaching Sac- 
ramento in advance of his vessel, he engaged in the 
freighting business from that city to the mines, clear- 
ing in two months a profit of $5,000. With this he 
purchased a lot on J street, and on it erected a frame 
building which his company had shipped in sections 
on board the Eliza. This structure, although intended 
for business purposes, he placed three feet above the 
ground, observing in the vicinity indications that the 
land had been formerly overflowed. This innovation 
gave rise to much cheap ridicule among his neighbors; 
but their derision ceased when, a few months later, 
came the flood of 1849-50, and his building was the 
only one in the city left standing above the water 

Under the firm name of Smith, Bensley & company, 
and later Starr, Bensley & company, though always 
under Mr Bensley's management, the business pros- 
pered steadily, until, in November 1 849 he found it 
necessary to return to New York for the purpose of 
securing a larger stock of goods. Here he purchased 
a half interest in the steamers Confidence and Wilson 
G. Hunt, for which he was appointed agent, had their 
guards cut ofl^ at New York, and sending them to 
San Francisco, by way of Cape Horn, fitted them 
out for the river trade, and ran them successfully 
between that city and Sacramento, until 1854, when 
they were transferred, together with his half share in 
the steamer Conianclie, to the California Steam Navi- 
gation company. Of this association, formed by con- 
solidating the interests of all the owners of steamboats 
then running on the bay of San Francisco and its 
tributary streams, the proprietors transferring their 


vessels at a valuation ai]freecl upon, he was one of the 
founders, and also one of the directors, until its sale 
to the railroad company in 1871. 

The year 1852 was a disastrous one to Mr Bensley, 
for during the great conflagration which then occurred 
in Sacramento, his residence was destroyed, and at 
tlie same time the establishment of the firm of Curry 
and company, whom he had started in business with 
his own capital. Soon afterward he removed to San 
Francisco, and to the energy and disinterested self- 
devotion which he displayed in advancing the inter- 
ests of his adopted city that metropolis is largely 
indebted for much of its earlier and more permanent 
prosperity. Had his purpose been, as was too often 
the case with the argonaut, merely to accumulate a 
fortune and return forthwith to his native state, there 
were many surer and more profitable investments than 
those in which he employed his time and capital. 
But such was not his object, for in every enterprise 
in which he embarked he was animated more by a 
desire to promote the welfare of the state than by the 
hope of personal aggrandizement. In this spirit all 
his more important undertakings were conceived and 
executed, conferring on the people a lasting and sub- 
stantial benefit. 

Together with A. W. von Schmidt and Anthony 
Chabot, he incorporated, in June 1857, the San Fran- 
cisco water-works, and introduced from Lobos creek 
the first regular supply of water, serving as president 
of the association until its consolidation with the 
Spring Valley company. Before this date water was 
brought to the city in carts, and sold at exorbitant 
prices — often more than tenfold the present rates. 
Some nine years later Mr Bensley organized the 
Clear Lake water-works, purchasing under the swamp 
land act most of the land bordering on the lake to 
which, in his opinion, the city must ultimately look 
for its permanent supply. Later he disposed of his 
interest to the Spring Valley company, 


Mr Bensle}'' was one of the original trustees of 
the Citizens' Gas compan}'', incorporated in December 
1862, and the second one established in the metropolis. 
In this he was largely interested, and as a member of 
the board of directors continued to take an active part 
in its manao-ement, until its consolidation with tlie 
San Francisco Gas company. 

He was also one of the org^anizers of the California 
Electric Light company, now a prosperous enterprise, 
and as projector and organizer of the Pacific Kolling 
Mills, incorporated in May 1866, he selected the 
location of the works, which was afterward approved 
by B. P. Brunner, the constructing engineer. At 
this date there was not a single rolling mill on tlje 
coast; freights from the east were extremely high, 
and iron, whether raw or manufactured, was imported 
at extravagant prices. There seemed to Mr Benshy 
no good reason why this demand could not be sup- 
plied at home, and with the aid of his capital and 
supported by his energy and skill, a factory was 
established for this purpose many years sooner than 
it would otherwise have been called into existence. 
Until 1876, when he disposed of his interest to James 
G. Fair and Nicholas Luning, he was a director and 
the laroest stockholder in the association. Before 
the transfer was made it had been clearly demon- 
strated that it was a profitable as well as a useful 
undertaking, and had been paying regular dividends. 
To his energy and perseverance are largely due the 
prosperous condition of our iron works and machine- 
shops, a branch of industry essential to the prosperity 
of a great mining country. 

But perhaps the greatest boon which he has con- 
ferred on this state is the introduction of irrigation 
works on scientific principles and on an extensive 
scale, inaugurating a system which was destined to 
transform from a wilderness into a garden spot the 
great interior valleys of southern California. In 
March 1866 he incorporated the San Joaquin and 


King's River Canal and irrigation company, and the 
courage and persistence with which, in the face of all 
obstacles and difficulties, he carried this great enter- 
prise to a successful consummation are worthy of all 
commendation. At this period there were none who 
believed that, with the prices of labor and material 
then prevailing, such an undertaking could possibly 
pay expenses. In vain he appealed for assistance to 
tlie capitalists of San Francisco and New York. In 
every instance he met with a refusal, and not infre- 
quentl}'" with a sneer, for men regarded the scheme as 
chimerical, and its author as a mere enthusiast. An 
enthusiast, indeed, he was, but by no means in the 
sense in which he was regarded, and as for obstacles, 
by men of Mr Bensley's stamp they are encountered 
only to be overcome. If others would not aid him in 
the work, then he would accomplish it by himself, 
and in the summer of 1868 he broke ground on the 
canal, thouojh durinaj this and the two succeedinu; 
years his progress was retarded, owing to the difficul- 
ties of transportation. In 1871 he resumed active 
operations, and notwitlistanding the enormous expense 
of transporting supplies, materials, and implements 
for a distance of seventy-five miles across a mountain- 
ous country, from Gilroy to the neighborhood of 
Firebaugh's ferry, on the San Joaquin river, he con- 
structed the first forty miles at his own expense, 
employing more than a thousand workmen. At the 
top the canal is seventy feet in width, and at the bot- 
tom thirty -two feet, with a depth of six feet of water. 
On the line of the canal he leased large tracts of land, 
which he planted in wheat and barley, with the most 
favorable results, thus demonstrating that portions of 
the San Joaquin valley before deemed worthless as a 
grain region would yield abundant crops with the aid 
of irrigation. 

He was the projector and builder and supplied all 
the funds for the Pacific Oil and Lead works, incor- 
porated in 1866, and constructed during the following 


year. At this date the manufacture of linseed and 
castor oils was an unknown industry on the Pacific 
coast, and at first he was compelled to import his 
material from Calcutta and from Chilian ports. By 
encouraging the cultivation of flax, however, among 
the farmers of California and Oregon, and in many 
cases advancing the means for this purpose, he not 
only obtained a supply of seed, but added an important 
and lucrative industry to those already in existence. 
His interest in this enterprise was afterward disposed 
of to D. O. Mills and the Kittle brothers. Amon<x 
other projects in which he has taken an active part 
are the Pacific Dredging company, incorporated in 
October 1868, and the Tuolumne County water-works, 
in both of which he was a director, while in the Black 
Diamond Coal and Mining company he was at one 
time amontr the lartjest stockholders. 

Thus by his enterprise and liberality he made the 
fortunes of many others, or at least opened to them 
the path that leads to fortune. He was ever ready 
to aid his friends when overtaken by financial troubles, 
devoting to their interests and the interests of the 
state a greater share of his means than he used for 
his own advancement, often embarking in enterprises 
somewhat in advance of the times, when the demand 
for their products had to be created, and sinking 
large amounts of capital in laying the foundations of 
numerous industries of which others have reaped the 

With a number of institutions tending to the social 
and intellectual advancement of the community he 
was also prominently connected. Among them is 
the Young Men's Christian association, of which he 
was one of the founders, and a life member. Of the 
Mercantile library he was also one of the promot- 
ers, and a life member; was a life member of the 
Society of California Pioneers, one of the promoters 
of the home for the care of the inebriates, and con- 
tributed toward the support of the Mechanics' insti- 


tute. In many charitable and social organizations he 
took an active interest, contributing freely to all that 
he deemed worthy of assistance. In religion he was 
of the presbyterian faith, and in politics a republican, 
though never in the modern sense of the word a |)oli- 
tician, neither accepting; nor caring to accept the nom- 
ination for any political office. 

When, after a long career of usefulness, he passed 
away from earth on the 19th of June 1889, there are 
none whose memory was more respected, or whose loss 
was more sincerely regretted. 

In his deeds of charity as in the conduct of all his 
affairs during the later years of his career, Mr Bens- 
ley was aided by the advice and assistance of the 
refined and cultivated woman who presides over his 
household. On September 16, 1869, he was married 
to Mrs Marion Louis Jeannette Macdonald Eveleine 
Greville, widow of the Honorable George Greville of 
England, nee Eveleine, a direct descendant of the 
McAlpine family of Clan Alpine, one of the most 
ancient families in Scotland. Gregorius was one of 
her ancestors. Her relatives strongly opposed her 
union with an American, and, in fact, created an 
estrangement which has never been reconciled. 
Among her wide circle of friends and acquaintances 
she is universally esteemed for her many estimable 
qualities, while as to her accomplishments it need 
only be stated that she converses in five modern lan- 
guages as fluently as in her native tongue, and is also 
a good Latin and Greek scholar. 

In appearance Mr Bensley was one of those men 
whose commanding presence at once attracts atten- 
tion. An inch over six feet in height, his frame was 
massive and well-proportioned, with corresponding 
breadth of shoulder and depth of chest. In his feat- 
ures, which were prominent, but regular in contour, 
with a large and capacious forehead, and deep-set 
eyes of a cold light-blue color, were expressed the 
iron of his nature and the strong intelligence and per- 


ceptive powers with which he was largely gifted. 
That he was a man of boundless enterprise, particu- 
larly in the direction of the public benefit, will be 
inferred from the incidents of the career which have 
now been laid before the reader. 

Of the good work that he accomplished in develop- 
ing the resources of the state it is impossible to speak 
in terms that are worthy of the man and his many 
eminent services. To him is due the fact that San 
Francisco was first provided with an ample supply of 
pure and wholesome water. To him is due the inception 
of our iron manufactures, our oil and lead works, and 
the introduction of several new and important industries. 
Through his efforts the inland commerce of the Pacific 
coast was placed on a permanent basis, and by his enter- 
prise he established a system of irrigation whereby 
vast tracts of desert land have been reclaimed. The 
benefits which he conferred on California it is, indeed, 
impossible to overestimate, and in the annals of the 
Pacific coast the name of John Bensley will appear 
as one of the highest exemplars to all posterity, as 
the foremost champion of progress, and as one whose 
numberless benefactions and disinterested self-devo- 
tion to the welfare of the state have exerted an 
influence that cannot well be realized on the material 
prosperity of the commonwealth. 



Genealogy — Family Characteristics — Early Traits — Equipmext for 
Life in California — Struggle against a Dual Force — Brctishness 
IN THE Field and Crookedness in Litigation — A Triumph for Civ- 
ilization Broad and Deep — Peaceful Conquests — Moral and In- 
tellectual Force — The Father of Irrigation — Important Agency 
IN the Country's Growth — A Life of Benefactions — Portraiture 
of a Prominent Character. 

The pioneers of California are the originators and 
builders of her prosperity and greatness. Study faith- 
fully their character and life-work, and you have all 
that is essential in California history. They are not 
only entitled to the credit for developments already 
made ; the future destiny of the state is largely due 
to the foundation work of these creative and control- 
ling spirits. 

In the industrial, commercial, and financial devel- 
opments irrigation has been a most potent agency ; 
yet what has already been achieved thereby, though 
great and useful, cannot be fully appreciated unless 
considered as the basis and inspiration for infinite 
development at the hands of posterity. The man to 
whose brain we owe the first important system in irri- 
gation on this coast, the conspicuous pioneer in this 
department, is Moses James Church. Through his 
efforts a thorough and extensive system has been 
carried to a successful issue. In the extraordinary 
advancement of the state up to this date, he is one of 
the most substantial factors — a man whom the student 



of history, by analysis of the facts, will recognize to 
be an individual force and special agency for all time, 
in the great sum of human energy evolved on this 
coast. The man who subdues and conquers, who 
clears the way, thereby demonstrating the capabilities 
of a country to others, and giving confidence and 
spirit to them, who thus pluralizes his own life dur- 
ing his own existence, and multiplies it infinitely in 
the years to come as his ideas fructify in the mind 
and labors of others — he is the man on whose tablets 
the debt of posterity should be inscribed. Though 
his daily walk and conversation be ever so simple and 
unpretentious, his attributes and his deeds should be 
understood and appreciated by the world at large for 
the good there is in them, and surely his virtues and 
achievements should remain fresh in the minds of 
those who share directly in the triumph of his genius. 
Mr Church came to this coast in 1852, after the first 
flush of the gold excitement had partially subsided, 
and about the time when practical tests were being 
made in determining the value of the soil for agricul- 
ture, and the civilizing avocations dependent there- 
upon. Society was demoralized, and wholesome 
domestic restraints were swept aside, in the wild rush 
for wealth. To organize communities, establish actual 
homes on a permanent basis, to build up an empire 
here in the best sense of the word, every inducement 
was offered in the soil, climate and extent of territory 
— all nature seemed to invite to the unfolding of a 
new civilization in these remote regions. Yet the 
conditions were new. The resources of the state for 
stable, permanent wealth — the soil pregnant with 
God's best gifts to man, escaped the notice of the 
mass of fortune-hunters. The soul of the earth, as 
that of Pedro Garcia, remained incomprehensible, 
until one of original mind should come and interpret it. 
The possibilities of this new life were conceived by 
Mr Church, and his intellect and the sweat of his brow 
have been dedicated thereto. He possessed that 


uncompromising determination which dwarfs obsta- 
cles, a faith in himself which is capable of removing 
mountains, and a perception which grasped at once 
the present and the future of great industrial and 
commercial undertakings. Nor was he less remarka- 
ble for hard common sense, that balance-wheel of all 
the faculties. Nature liad endowed him with a rug- 
ged constitution, a capacity for labor, a power of 
endurance, and a vitality rarely equalled and never 
surpassed. These qualifications of mind and body, 
coupled with straightforward, generous manhood, a 
spirit too proud to stoop to indirection or subterfuge 
for the sake of advantage, enabled him to accomplish 
a beneficent work for humanity in spite of his adver- 
saries, who were powerful, persistent, and unscrupu- 
lous, fearing neither God nor man, and, also, to do 
this in such a manner as ultimately to command the 
admiration and respect of all appreciative and honest 

Like others who crossed the plains early, he came 
to secure a small fortune in the gold-field, intending 
to return when that mission was fulfilled and enjoy 
himself in " the states." He did not know the coun- 
try until he had studied it in various ways for per- 
haps fifteen or sixteen years; but then he began to 
realize its greatness and to comprehend his destiny 
in it. Thereafter, this and this alone was destined 
to be his home and his country. 

Moses James Church was born in Chautauqua 
county, New York, on the 28th day of March 1818. 
His father, Joshua Church, was a native of Vermont, 
and the son of Scotch parents. His grandfather was 
one of the colonial settlers, and a soldier in the revo- 
lutionary war. His mother, whose maiden name was 
Sophronia ShurtlifF, was the daughter of Scotch- 
English parents, their Christian names indicating 
Puritan stock. She was a woman of remarkable 
character, and was one of the leaders in the religious 
reformation led by Alexander Campbell, Walter Scott, 


and Barton Stone. His father was twice married, 
and the father of fifteen children. Moses J. was the 
second cliild of the first family, of whom there were 
six. Joshua Church was a prominent and influential 
man in the neig]iborhood. His counsel was sought 
on all occcasions involving the important industrial 
and social interests of the community. He was a 
farmer and wheelright in comfortable circumstances. 
In the moral, physical, and intellectual training of 
their children, the parents exercised great care, incul- 
cating in them, by example and precept, principles 
of honesty, temperance, industry, and economy. 
Sophronia Church was a woman of exalted sentiment. 
When less than thirty years of age she was stricken 
with a fatal disease. Two weeks before her death she 
called her husband and six children to her bedside, 
and talked with them as calmly as though she were 
only going away on a journey, and having no anxiety 
except that they should so live as to make the reunion 
of the family certain in the world beyond. The scene 
was more than the afflicted husband could endure, 
and he yielded to despair. She tried to console him, 
but finding that the load was too heavy for him to 
bear, she requested all but her sister to withdraw ; 
in January 1890 this sister was living in Fresno, 
California, eighty-five years of age, with her faculties 
well preserved. Calling for pen and paper Mrs 
Church wrote, in verse, a touching and earnest fare- 
well to her husband and children, counselling with 
them deliberately for the last time, how to fashion 
their lives for the present and the future. These 
verses, written under such circumstances, are, to my 
mind, an evidence of sublime faith, that is fit to be 
recorded among the experiences of the martyrs. They 
are a manifestation of the spirit of a mother whose 
character I believe to be largely reproduced in that 
of her son. She was a woman of more education 
than was ordinary in her time and neighborhood, and 
though the verses referred to, which I find in the 


Christian Palladium of June 7, 1826, are not in 
classic form, they give voice to a soul possessing those 
qualities of love, imagination and faith, without which 
there is no poetic inspiration. To that paper she con- 
tributed many articles on scriptural subjects. She was 
a diligent and ardent student of the bible, her compre- 
hension of which was remarkable. She knew the good 
book from cover to cover and her familiarity was not 
of the superficial sort. Her knowledge was profound, 
and by her writings she brought light into dark 
places and made difficult passages easy. She exer- 
cised much influence in the Christian church by her 
writings ; but she exerted a still greater influence, 
perhaps, over those with whom she came into contact 
personally, in the church and out of it. She was 
widely known, and there was no woman in the com- 
munity whose words were received with more weight 
nor whose example was more helpful and elevating. 
She was devoted to the cause of Christianity and good 
morals, but she was reasonable and practical in her 
efforts on behalf of others. Cut down in her voungj 
womanhood, she had nevertheless already impressed 
herself upon all those that had any associations with 
her. She had shown herself a typical wife and 
mother, filling her place as such with conscience and 
wisdom, and with almost her last breath making a 
timely effort to continue her spirit with them in coun- 
sel after her body had been consigned to the earth. 
In her church she manifested her faith by acts ; to 
the world she was kind, charitable, helpful — a genuine 
Christian. " Character," says Emerson, "is moral 
order seen through an individual nature." In her 
this noble embodiment was exemplified ; and in her 
son Moses the salient features of her character are 
repeated. A good woman is nature's masterpiece. 
" Good mothers, far more than fathers, tend to the 
perpetual renovation of mankind." Virtuous parents, 
who, by the example of their lives, establish in their 
children the qualities which they transmit to them by 


heredity, replenish the moral force among men with- 
out which the race can only retrograde. 

Moses received a limited education in the public 
schools of his time. He manifested special talent for 
mathematics, and his father suggested an extended 
course of study in this branch, but he preferred to 
learn a trade and to do for himself, trusting to expe- 
rience and friction among men to practically finish the 
education in books beoun in the \og- schoolhouse. 
It must be said that, until he grew to be a young 
man of seventeen or eighteen years, he was not inter- 
ested in his books. He generally had some scheme 
of his own, skating, fishing, or hunting. It was only 
after he had begun to do the work of a man that he 
began to study with an object; since then his thoughts 
have been concentrated always upon some well-defined 
purpose, in order that he might improve himself 
practically and intellectually. When he was nine 
years of age his father moved to Erie county, Penn- 
sylvania, and when seventeen he commenced to learn 
the blacksmith's trade, to which he added the study 
of the diseases of horses, in order to combine the busi- 
ness of farriery with that of blacksmithing. 

To this study he brought that thoroughness which 
has characterized him in whatever engaged his atten- 
tion ; having no patience with superficial or make- 
shift knowledge, he never rested until he had 
mastered the subject in theory and practice, and could 
command the business in that line wherever he went. 
For no man can shoe a horse properly, however good 
he may be as a mechanic, if he does not understand 
the anatomy of the noble animal. 

To ignorance of the functions and disease of the 
horse's feet is due much of the lameness and suffering 
of iiian's most useful friend. Taken out of his native 
state he should be carefully equipped for his artificial 
condition, when put to work anywhere, especially in 
cities, his health and value depend upon adapting him 
to the new regime. He must be treated according to 


the laws of his nature. When unshod the horse's 
frog makes an imprint on the ground ; it should be 
so when he is shod, for the frog is intended to serve 
as a cushion to prevent jar, and render the movements 
of the horse springy and graceful. Yet most city 
horses, at least, would not leave an imprint of the frog 
on a dusty road with their shoes off, to such constant 
parings are the unhappy frog subjected. Result : 
corns, thrush and contraction. How many black- 
smiths to whom valuable horses are brou^-ht to be 
shod know what the natural slant of the hoof is from 
coronet to toe — who realize that however little tliat 
slant varies from forty-five degrees, just to that 
extent is the horse injured in gait and strength. The 
normal thickness of the sole, the true uses of the 
frog, the object of the frog-bars are elementary 
thino^s, a knowledgje of which determines the differ- 
ence between the charlatan and the farrier in horse- 
shoeing ; but, in their way, they comprise a vast 
deal to be learned, as do the four fundamental pro- 
cesses of arithmetic. This was the first study that 
he undertook. He pursued his researches in books 
and by observation as he worked at the shop, 
until he understood the horse as the physician 
is supposed to understand the human organism. 
Such knowledge was not to be got in a day ; to 
acquire proficiency in the art cost him years of loyal, 
earnest work. 

In the 3^ear 1842 he married Miss Sarah Whitting- 
ton, and three years afterwards removed to Columbus, 
Georgia, where he enjoyed the distinction of putting 
up the iron works in the first paper-mill erected in 
that state. He lived at Columbus for five 3'ears in 
the employ of Mott and Mustion, who owned several 
important stage lines. In that section of the country 
at that time all travel was done by staging, and a 
great many horses were used, among which there was 
always sickness enough to keep our farrier more or 
less bus,y, when not occupied otherwise in seeing that 


they were humanely shod. As out of so large a num- 
ber of horses many died every year from various causes, 
liG had frequent opportunities, none of which he neg- 
lected, to enlarge his information by dissection, thus 
practically getting at the root of the disease in each 
instance. His reputation as pathologist and surgeon 
grew as his skill increased, and among the wealthy 
planters of Georgia who owned fine horses his services 
were much in demand, and he treated successfully sev- 
eral blood racers whoso record is still a part of the his- 
tory of the turf. His experience during these five years 
in the south was valuable to him and to those whom 
he served in the manner described ; this experience 
was of great value to him directly, as it strengthened 
him in that art of healing which is second in useful- 
ness to that alone which deals with human beings as 
patients. But, more important still, perhaps, in his 
Georgia school, from his study of the horse, he was 
led naturally to take up the study of the physiology 
and hygiene of men, women, and children. Here was 
his second problem to be wrought out and demon- 
strated by force of reason, research, and personal test, 
for to undertake an investig^ation and abandon it was 
foreign to his nature. Later we shall see what has 
grown out of his thinking and labor in this positive 

In 1851 he removed to Lake county, Indiana, 
where he worked at his trade as blacksmith and 
practised farriery. 

In the spring of 1852, with his wife and three chil- 
dren, his brother and a. hired man, he joined a com- 
pany of emigrants bound for California. He had a 
good team of oxen, a few cows, and one horse. They 
came by the old emigrant route, by way of Fort 
Kearney, Chimney Rock, and Sweetwater. On 
arri^^ing at Goose lake the feed was so good that he 
concluded to stop a few days to recruit his stock, and 
the rest of the company continued their journey. He 
learned very soon that the reason the pasture was so 


good was on account of the hostilit}^ of the Indians, 
which caused emigrants to avoid that vicinity. Tlie 
Indians attacked tiiem, and but for the assistance of 
a company of emigrants who were overtaken by his 
hired man and brought back, the whole party wouhl 
probably have been murdered. After nearly six 
months of hardships they landed in Hangtown, now 
Placerville, El Dorado county, November 1852. 
Here, while working diligently at his trade, he 
incurred the displeasure of other blacksmiths by the 
invention of a sluice fork which he could manufacture 
for one-third the cost of the one in common use, and 
v/hich proved to be a better implement. His fellow - 
craftsmen held a meeting and resolved that he should 
either siirn an aoTeement to chargre sixteen dollars for 
his fork or leave the country. He refused to sign it, 
and a man named Fowler, a large, burly blacksmith, 
threatened his life then and there. Church, whose 
blood boiled over this assault upon his rights as a 
man and his liberty as an American citizen, and who 
realized that he must defend himself on the spot, or 
else be crushed and driven out of the community, 
picked up a piece of wood with an iron hook on the 
end of it, and felled his adversary to the ground, cut- 
ting him in the face. The next day he received a 
challenge to fight a duel, accompanied with a threat 
that unless he accepted he would be murdered. He 
refused to accept, and laid the case before a lawyer. 
Fowler was arrested and bound over to keep the 
peace. And thus ended the first battle he had to 
fight in California in order to protect his life and vin- 
dicate his manhood, I apprehend that he did not 
decline the invitation to mortal combat for lack of 
couragje ; for while his whole career on this coast 
shows him to be a man of peace and a Christian in 
the true sense of that word, no danger has proved 
great enouoh to deter him from a legitimate or rigrht- 
eous pursuit. His attitude has always been that of 

C. B.— III. 15 


Soon after this episode he was called on to assist 
in the construction of a ditch, in company with Brad- 
lev, Berden and company, to take water from the 
Cosumiies river for the use of the miners, which was 
also used profitably by persons engaged in the fruit 
and garden culture. This was the first ditch of any 
inportance constructed in this state. The work sug- 
gested to him his first ideas of the benefits which 
would flow from a system of irrigation in the great 
arid valleys, and the financial success to the person 
who should construct such a work, where the long dry 
saasons make the successful cultivation of the soil on 
the plains impossible without water. Mr Church 
studied with thoroughness every subject that claimed 
his attention, and when once convinced, he moved 
forward undaunted by anything opposed to success. 
Wiiile he considered man's time too brief and too 
precious for any but serious thought and action, his 
motto was to throw his whole life into whatever he 
undertook, being satisfied that it was a legitimate and 
worthy thing to do. His career is a marvel of con- 
centrated force. 

After five years spent in El Dorado county he 
removed with his family to Napa county, and for a 
time engaged in the stock business near Coyote val- 
ley, which was entirely new and wild then. The 
valley was alive with bears and deer. The former 
were a terror to the people who undertook to raise 
stock there, Mr Church being among the first. He 
and several others, who have since passed away, wont 
to work and hunted for bears continually, until the 
last one was destroyed. On one occasion Mr Church's 
cousin was mangled and killed by a wounded bear, 
and ho himself had hair's-breadth escapes enough ; but 
after a while he made such a thorough study of bruin 
as to kill him with expedition and without fear. He 
killed the first bear and the last one in the valley. 

While in Napa county he supervised the construc- 
tion of several mountain roads leadinof into Lake 


count3^ After a few years he moved to Napa city, 
where he worked at his trade as horseshoer and far- 
rier until 1868. Here the thoroughness of his 
knowledge of farriery and his skill and attention to 
business was such that it was not a great while before 
he got most of the work that was to be done. As a 
natural consequence he excited the jealousy and 
incurred the enmity of his competitors, it being his 
destiny, it would seem, to arouse antagonism wherever 
he labored — antagonism, however, in which only those 
induloje who are beaten in the race and can riohtlv 
complain of themselves alone. In the year named, 
he purchased a band of about 2,000 sheep, sold his 
business interests in Napa county, and moved to 
the plains east of what is now called Fresno city, near 
Centerville. He settled first on government land 
near some springs about three miles east of Center- 
ville, where he built a cabin and corral for his sheep. 
His son George, who was with him, attended the 
sheep in his absence on business. He had no sooner 
got his buildings up, his provisions laid in, and his 
seed wheat purchased, than he was visited by the 
cattle-raisers and their hired men, and ordered to leave 
the country on pain of death. Yank Hazelton, one 
of the cattle potentates, claimed the whole country in 
the section on which Mr Church was workino;, as his 
domain by right of possession. But Mr Church was 
not one of the kind to be frightened from a righteous 
and leiJ-itimate undertakino;. He confronted his adver- 
saries with resolute calmness. Said he : " If I am a 
trespasser on these lands, I am not aware of it; I 
shall investigate the matter." The next day, while 
Mr Church was on his way home from Centerville, 
the following incident occurred. He was met b}^ 
seven men. 

One of these who had made the first demonstration 
said to him as they came up, " Well, I see you are still 
here. We have come to see whether you are going 
or not." Mr Church then said, " I want to see Yank 


Hazelton first ; I have been very busy, and haven't 
had time to look further into the title of this land." 
Upon this a man getting off his horse said, "I will 
introduce myself I am Yank Hazelton." "What 
do you want of me," asked Mr Church. "I want 
none of your gab," was the reply. " I have had 
peaceable possession of this land for seventeen years, 
and you and I can't both live on these plains. And 
if you persist in settling here, I'll give you just 3^our 
size, and no more. I want you to get in behind your 
sheep, and not stop until you are out of the count}'. 
I ordered your son, if he valued his life, to leave with 
the sheep. He is obeying like a little man, and you 
will have to do the same." And then Paul Stover, a 
Dutchman speaking broken English, said, "I he's a 
carpenter, and I makes you a house for you " — mean- 
ing a coffin. 

On looking up Mr Church saw that his son was 
moving off the sheep, and he said to Hazelton : *' Your 
request is unreasonable, even if the land is 3^ours. I 
may be a trespasser ; if I am, it is through ignorance. 
Your demonstrations are of such a character that I 
am satisfied I must be a trespasser ; but I cannot go 
to-night and leave my house and provisions, and my 
horses and wagon. I must have further time. If 
you wont give me time, you may as well carry out 
your designs, whatever they are." Hazelton then 
said: "Well, boys, that is pretty plain talk. What 
shall we do with him ? Stover replied : " If he no 
goes, the cattle he's all dead ; and I makes the little 
house for him." After consultation Hazelton then 
said: "You can have until nine o'clock to-morrow 
morning, and if you are not gone by that time, wc 
will come and carry out what we expected to do 
to-day." They left him, whereupon he went to his 
son and stopped him with tlie sheep. They repaired 
to where their cabin stood, intending to corral the 
slieep for the night. They found everything in ruins; 
cabin and corral had been torn down^ and all their 



provisions and seed wheat destroyed by a herd of 
hogs which their enemies had driven on the premises 
for this brutal purpose — desolation as cruel and com- 
plete as human fiends could make it. Three attempts 
were made on his life by Hazelton's men, but there 
was a providence which had a destiny for him too 
grand to be thwarted by their murderous hands. 

He was looked upon as an intruder and trespasser, 
neither his legal nor moral rights being much consid- 
ered, if at all, by the autocrats into whose domain, 
hitherto undisputed, he had come lawfully and peace- 
ably to accomplish the greatest good for all, even for 
those who so persistently persecuted him and kept his 
life in jeopardy, for he has actually enriched those of 
them who were not too arrogant to acquire title to 
the lands they used. What he has done has made 
their property too valuable to be held much longer as 
stock ranges. Still he escaped from all the snares 
they prepared, or allowed to be prepared, to punish 
and get rid of him. Many instances have been 
reported to me upon excellent authority, among which 
I note the following, which shows he was constantly 
in peril. One Jacobs owned a general merchandise 
and supply store at Centerville, which was the ren- 
dezvous for the neighboring country, on account of 
its being the only postoffice for the whole valley. 
One day Mr Church went tliere to get his mail, and 
when he was going out a handful of sand was thrown 
into his face. The redoubtable Stover, who was sit- 
ting on the counter, drew up his foot and struck him 
on the side of the head. A man named Glynn, who 
stood on a pile of sacks, aimed a kick at him, but his 
blow was parried. Mr Church threw up his arm, 
caught the man's foot and sent him sprawling at full 
length on the floor. George Church, who happened 
to be present, grabbed up a pick handle, but his father 
told him to put it down. The sand filled his eyes, but 
he could see well enough, and paying no attention to 
the brute who had kicked him he made for the fel- 


low who had thrown the sand. Though small in 
stature he was, at that time, possessed of great 
streni^th, being all bone and muscle, and could strike 
a blow of which no smithy would be ashamed. The 
sand-thrower, who was used up pretty thoroughly in 
less time than is required to describe the encounter, 
could testify to this. Suffice it to say that he was left 
without reason to be proud of his cowardly assault. 
When Mr Church had passed out of doors he spoke 
to the crowd, some twenty-five or thirty men, among 
whom he had run the gauntlet: "If you won't let 
me alone, why don't you come on one at a time ? " 
As he stood in the street, the miscreant who had 
thrown the sand, and another of the gang, each with 
a revolver in his hand, started for the door. It 
seemed for a moment that the days of the great irri- 
gator were nearly at an end, but the valiant couple 
either thought there was not sufficient pretext for an 
immediate homicide, or else wanted a stimulant. 
They passed, one on either side of Mr Church, and 
went to a barroom near by. He, apprehending that 
what they had failed to do whisky would do for them, 
thought it best to get out of the way. 

Gettinor hito his bugq-v he and his son George drove 
home. His clothes were bloody, and when he told 
what had occurred, Mr De Wolf, a friend of his, ran 
into his room and brought out a revolver. Said he in 
Spanish : " Carry that where\'er you go hereafter, and 
don't you disgrace it." Mr Church objected to car- 
rying a deadly weapon, but he made no reply and 
took the pistol, but never carried it. All bloody as 
he was, he drove up to the head of his water ditch, 
where he had some fifty men at work, mostly China- 
men, whom he had always treated well, and who were 
greatly attached to him. He told them of the trou- 
ble, and they became very much excited and indig- 
nant The two men with the revolvers, after firing 
up with liquor, had got horses and with five or six 
others followed him to the works in close pursuit. 


When the Chinamen saw them they all ran for 
a weapon . Mr Church's white men advised him 
to step down into the bulkhead where they were 
excavating, saying " If they come we will fix them, let 
the Chinamen go on working just as though nothing 
had happened." The two leading ruffians galloped 
up, and insisted upon seeing Church, and wanted to 
know where he was. They began to look around for 
him when Mr Powell, the foreman, made them a little 
speech as follows: "Now, boys, let me tell you that 
it would only take a minute to lay you all out right 
here. Do you see these Chinamen; every one of 
them is ready and would be glad to do you up if you 
should make a move. Mr Church is down there 
behind the embankment ; he went there to save your 
lives." As he was speaking some of the Chinamen 
who could not be restrained, came up and stood near 
by on the alert and ready to lend a willing hand. 
The bullies, seeing the situation, took discretion to be 
the better part of valor and rode away. Mr Church 
as a orod-fearinof man and lover of his fellow-beings 
had always a horror of shedding blood. No one was 
ever killed as the result of any act of his in all his 
vexatious and frequently exasperating pioneer trials 
and persecutions. Men were killed outright or taken 
off and lynched to appease the wrath of cattle-lords 
up and down King river. At one place above Cen- 
terville within the space of one mile, there were four 
men killed at different times by the same or parts of 
the same crowd, and all of this owing to the blind 
and selfish rag-e of men who could see nothino- but 
harm to themselves and no benefit to the country to 
accrue from settlement and irrigration — that means 
upon which alone, as everybody now concedes, the 
permanent and widest possible future for California 
and other states having extensive arid regions 
depends. I record these facts in order to bring out 
the conditions which prevailed at the beginning of 
agricultural life in Fresno county. I am not disposed 


to uTiderestiinate the public good there is in stock- 
raisin^, or to condemn early cattle-men as a whole, nor 
yet to hold the principals in this industry in the early 
days of Fresno altogether responsible for the violence 
and lawlessness of their herdsmen. Such conduct is 
totally inexcusable, however, whoever may be person- 
all v criminated by the facts. There were excellent 
msn among them. I deal now only with those who, 
hf previous long possession of the ground, had grown 
t ) be insolent, and were unwilling to consider law or 
any other impediment in the way of their assumed 

Mr Church, and those of his neighbors who were 
bent on agriculture, settled on land on King river, 
about four miles below Centerville. He had studied 
the topography and the soil, and had made up his 
mind that to open a ditch and divert water from the 
river to the plains would transform them into fertile 
fields. When the mines on the Cosumnes river failed 
aid he saw the beautiful results that flowed from 
diverting the water to irrigate gardens and orchards, 
h3 said to himself: "When all the mines are 
exhausted, the land with water on it will be another 
and a more certain source of wealth." His mind 
dwelt on tliis idea ever afterward. A severe loss of 
stock during a dry year in Napa stimulated him to 
pat his views to a practical test in Fresno. The only 
wxy to induce settlers to come was to demonstrate 
what could be done. With philosophical discretion 
he comprehended at once both the end and the essen- 
tial means thereto. With this idea in mind he first 
1 )cated four sections of land for A. Y. Easterby of 
Napa city, on the sink of Fancha creek, three miles 
east of the present site of Fresno city. On this tract 
in 1868 he put in the first wheat ever raised on the 
Fresno plains, and harvested a crop without irrigat- 
ing, though the land was susceptible of great improve- 
ment and crops could be made a certainty for every 
year by means of irrigation. This crop of seven or 


eight acres proved the capability of the soil for 
raising grain, and the next year Mr Easter by, being 
thus encouraged, got Mr Church to put in a large 
crop for him on the same ground. Having secured 
a franchise from the secretary of state to appropriate 
water from King river, a stream affording 20,000 
cubic feet and upward, he surveyed and laid out a 
course of the main canal from the river to the dry 
bed of Fancha creek. This channel would carry at 
least a thousand feet per second, a distance of sixteen 
miles, to the four sections already located. Then, in 
order to locate settlers in legal form, he secured the 
appointment of deputy land agent. By w^riting to old 
friends he brought in over two hundred permanent 
home-makers in less than one year. This substantial 
increase in the number of farmers streno^thened them 
against the cattle-men, who, however, still annoyed 
Mr Church, being determined to drive him out of the 
country ; but he was there to stay. He sold his sheep 
and turned his whole attention to digging the canal, 
in which he used a patent ditcher of his own inven- 
tion. He let contracts to settlers, and they became 
a bodyguard to him while pushing the work. In the 
fall of *1869 the settlers along the line of the canal 
of Fancha creek put in extensive fields of wheat. 
The plowing and sowing irritated the cattle-men. 
Tliey destroyed the crops by turning their stock on 
the growing grain. To this outrage they added the 
crime of lynching defenceless citizens, more than one 
beincr thus slauo-htered by the hirelinos of the cattle- 
barons between Kingston and Center ville. In reality 
there was no law then, and it was only such men as 
Church, the true type of empire-builders, who, possess- 
incr for the emero-encv both the courao;e of the lion 
and the cunning of the serpent, could survive the 
atrocities in vooue. 

Mr Church constructed the dam about tliree miles 
above Centerville, and from this dam two feeders were 
taken out of the river and brought togjether about a 


mile and a half out on the plains, where the main 
canal, one hundred feet wide and six f. et deep, con- 
vej'ed the water from there to the bend of the Fancha 
creek. During the progress of digging these canals 
Mr Easterb}^ settled on his land, and with the numer- 
ous other settlers gave Mr Church a moral support 
which caused the cattle-men to resort to more desper- 
ate methods to stop the work and break up farming. 
He had shown such courage and determination to 
carry his work forward, and had acquired such moral 
as well as physical support, that they feared to meet 
him on an equal footing face to face. A man named 
William Caldwell trumped up a claim of right of way 
for the water ditch as a pretext to irritate him, and 
incite him to commit some illegal compromising act. 
But he was on his guard, and by retaining always his 
presence of mind, he avoided the snares which they 
set for him, never for a moment ceasing his work. 
Observing his unruffled temper, several of the men in 
the stock interest conspired to take his life and East- 
erby's, believing that this would put an end to irri- 
gation. To Jacob's store in Centerville, already 
mentioned, he had to go for his mail and supplies. 
The assassination was to take place there, but under 
the ban of secrecy the details of the plot were revealed 
to him by two dilTerent persons, and he and Easterby 
escaped. Meanwhile the ditch work was prosecuted 
vigorously, and by the time the water was needed for 
their crops they had plenty, and they gathered a 
bountiful harvest. The success attendino; the com- 
pletion of the ditch thus far, in 1870, which demon- 
strated the extraordinary fertility of the apparently 
barren and worthless soil, was heralded abroad by 
joyous farmers, and many new settlers were induced 
to come in and go to work farming on lands 
selected for them by Mr Church. But the hos- 
tility of the cattle-men did not cease ; they con- 
tinued to destroy the growing crops with as little 
compunction as when in open war the enemy's coun- 


try is given over to fire and sword. At last, how- 
ever, owing to the vitahty pat into the issue b}^ Mr 
Church and the farmers he had built up about him, 
the relative rio;hts of stock-raisers and farmers became 
one of state interest. The latter demanded a no-fence 
law, which would compel the former to fence in their 
stock or herd them off the grain-fields. Mr Church 
was active in support of the no-fence law, and was 
opposed by Tom Fowler, a state senator at the time, 
and a large cattle owner. Mr Church was a member 
of the republican state central committee, and throw- 
ing party aside in this local conflict, he organized the 
no-fence law advocates of both parties, and secured 
the nomination and election of W. J. Ferguson of 
Fresno to the assembly, and Tipton Lindsey of 
Visalia to the senate, thus defeating Fowler. Fer- 
guson was a democrat, and Lindsey a republican. 
This chagrined the cattle-men, and they sent Fowler 
to Sacramento as a lobbyist to fight the law. He 
proved to be a strong one, surrendering the field only 
as he was forced from his position inch by inch. Such 
was his stubbornness and determination that he 
acquired for himself the nickname of the " wild bull 
in the senate." Mr Church was instrumental in 
oroanizino; the fight and looking^ after affairs at home, 
while Mr Easterby looked after the interests of the 
bill at the leo-islature, the former beino; the chief 
spirit and power in the struggle with antagonists who 
used all the means in their power, which was great, 
to influence legislation. They secured the servires 
of David S. Terry to combat Fowler, and W. W. 
Pendegast, senator from Napa county, they enlisted 
as their advocate on the floor of the senate. It 
Avas an excitino; session, with the no-fence law" as 
the chief issue. The conflict was between giants. 
Lindsey and Ferguson were true to their constituents, 
and the result was a victory for the producers by the 
enactment of the desired law in 1874. This was a 
triumph for Mr Church, yet not the only one he 


achieved in the time of his great work, by strength 
of will, tenacity of purpose, and ceaseless toil. 

About this time the officers of the Central Pacific 
railroad determined to make a survey of the route 
from Lathrop to Los Angeles, and Leland Stanford, 
Charles Crocker, and A. N. Towne made a tour of 
inspection as far south as Visalia. There they met 
Tom Fowler, who accompanied them to Centerville, 
where they expected to meet Mr Church, whose name 
had become known to men of character and enter- 
prise throughout the state. A meeting between the 
railroad magnates and Mr Church was just what 
Fowler did not want to occur, so he put them on the 
road to Millerton, telling them they would find Mr 
Church there, when in fact a messenger had notified 
Mr Church that the party would meet him at Center- 
ville. He immediately despatched a man to Millerton, 
who piloted the party to the home of Mr Church, 
where they consulted about railroad matters. He 
advised them to locate three sections of land where 
Fresno city now stands, and directed them to the land 
association at San Francisco from which to obtain a 
title. Governor Stanford, when he saw the develop- 
ments Mr Church was making, remarked that the rail- 
road and the ca^^als would make Fresno city, then only 
in contemplation, the most prosperous and important 
point in San Joaquin valley. How much beyond all 
expectation has his prediction already been realized ! 
A change unparalleled ! The transformation of 
dusty plains, on which jack- rabbits could scarcely sub- 
sist, into a vast and veritable garden ! 

By 1875 there were several miles of the main canal 
and fully one hundred miles of canals and ditches in 
operation, under the name of the Fresno Canal and 
Irrigation company, which meant M. J. Church. 
Tlie settlers had become so numerous and farming so 
general that the victor}^ of the no-fence advocates, and 
the advent of the railroad, put a stop to the aggres- 


sioiis of the cattle-barons, and broke up their monop- 
oly of the land. 

Numerous other irricratinor ditches were being con- 
structed in other parts of the valley, principally in 
Tulare county. To prevent that prosperity which is 
sure to flow from irrigation, numerous suits were 
brought by riparian owners, and up to the present 
time Mr Church has stepped in between the owners 
of the water and the riparian claimants, who had com- 
menced their new system of persecution, and defended 
the farmers and fruit-growers in their rights to water 
and keep it running to them. The expense of his 
efforts on their behalf has so far been crreater than the 
amount paid by them for the use of the water, but 
their rights have been established thereby beyond 
dispute, notwithstanding riparian claims or any other. 
In all cases of dispute or litigation Mr Church has 
been on the defensive ; during the past twenty years 
he has been forced to defend himself and company 
against two hundred lawsuits, mostly brought about 
by cattle-men. In every instance in which the deter- 
mination has been reached, he has won them on a fair 
trial, but not before every technicality known to the 
law for delay and evasion had been exhausted. The 
cost of defending his interest and the interests of 
others in this long course of vexatious litis;ation has 
by far exceeded the entire expense of constructing all 
the canals. To my mind this is a sugo-estive fact. It 
indicates the stuff that the man Church is made of, 
whereby he was enabled, single-handed, to fight to 
the bitter end a class of men who, up to the time of 
his coming, had held undisputed sway, and who, with 
the arrogance and bitterness of spirit that characterize 
obstructionists, combined against him as the head 
and front of the new civilization. It means, also, that 
the cattle interest, which had its usefulness and value 
up to the time when a superior interest was intro- 
duced, was inimical to the substantial development of 
the country, opposed to real progress. Their domi- 


nation in this state, however, is practically ended. 
The time has come when in the economy of things 
it will even pay them better to sell for the direct 
support of men the vast areas they have held for 
hoofed stock. Agriculture will thus inevitably pre- 
vail, even to the enrichment of its most vindictive 
opponents ; thus arbitrary are Nature's laws, the rain 
falling upon the just and unjust alike. 

In the midst of these struggles against cattle-kings 
and riparian claimants, Mr Church pushed forward 
work on the main canal, and numerous lateral canals 
and water ditches, carrying the water between sections 
and quarter-sections wherever needed, until the aggre- 
gate length of canal, ditches, and feeders six years 
after he began his herculean labor, reached 1,000 
miles. In 1887 he sold the entire canal property for 
a large sum of money to Dr E. B. Perrin and asso- 
ciates. He made a fortune out of the enterprise. 
His title to it no right-thinking man will question. 
It was the reward of the severest bodily and mental 
strain, long protracted and patient. The consequences 
are wide-reaching and permanent. In enlarging his 
own estate, he has enriched Fresno count}'', and indi- 
rectly he has contributed millions to the wealth of 
the state. So that, honored and respected by the 
best men, and completely vindicated against his ene- 
mies, he enjoys a conscience void of offence to his fel 
low-men and his God. The main feature of his life, 
the father of irrigation I may call him, is of itself a 
history. On the very threshold he encountered an 
unscrupulous organized opposition to his reclamation 
of the soil for the highest and purest human uses. He 
is persecuted ; his property destroyed ; assassins lie in 
wait for him ; he passes through fire and flood. In 
the end, however, there is ample compensation. To 
him is due the best system of irrigation in America. 
The meaning of this cannot be appreciated by any one 
who is familiar with countries made fruitful by rain 
alone, nor can its full significance be realized even by 


those who do not understand the capabilities of Cali- 
fornia soil irrigated, and its miserable sterility without 
irrigation. Through his tenacity and patience in liti- 
gation the question has acquired a national impor- 
tance. He secured the repeal of that section of the 
civil code which recognized the law of England touch- 
ing riparian rights, and when Haggin and Carr, 
with whom he was associated in their celebrated suit 
with Miller and Lux, made a compromise and settled 
their case, he continued to contend in the courts for 
the establishment of the rights of irrigation — the 
principle underlying the great question, although not 
immediately interested in the work of irrigation. The 
process of adapting the statutes and of securing judi- 
cial decisions in consonance with the natural require- 
ments of the country — a process doubly difficult on 
account of the first laws and first decisions all oroinir 
to establish riparianism— has thus been going forward 
until complete justice is to be hoped for. The prosper- 
ity not only of Fresno county and city, but also of 
Tulare and Kern counties, is largely due directly to 
his labors, while indirectly the entire region is in his 
debt. With water thus diverted and distributed, the 
possibilities of the section as opened up by him are 
immense, while without irrigation the plains of Fresno 
might as well have been left permanently in posses- 
sion of a few blustering stockmen and their vaqueros. 
The use of water has already given to aoriculture and 
horticulture in many forms a marvellous impetus. 
Colonies have been planted at several points, cities 
and towns have sprung into existence as if by magic, 
and the barren wastes of fitteen 3^ ears ago have been 
made to blossom as the rose. The taxable property 
has increased from less than $5,000,000 fifteen 3-ears 
ago to over $30,000,000 in 1889. And the assessor 
states that it would be $40,000,000 but for a decrease 
ill the rate of valuation as compared with the previous 
year. The city of Fresno, the central figure in tlie 
unexampled development and prosperity prevalent on 


all sides, has presented during the last decade a scene 
of industrial activity and material growth truly 
astonishino-. Nor has the advancement in morals, 
education, and religion been less pronounced. The 
progress of mind and soul has been parallel with the 
unfoldings of agriculture and commerce. Churches, 
schools, and beneficent societies are numerous and 
thrift}^ inculcating good-will among men, and making 
plain the still greater truths of immortality. Yet 
there is no mystery about it ; the agent in this grand 
internal improvement, so far-reaching in its g(^od 
effects, the man ^ho conceived, planned, and exe- 
cuted it, is Moses James Church, acknowledged by 
all just men to be tho benefactor of the people of the 
San Joaquin valley. 

But while considering the grand and civilizing 
results of this man's patient, determined, and loyal 
eflbrts as a factor anion o; our most successful builders 
of empire, let us not fancy that he conquered at every 
step ; for while his career was truly Napoleonic, like 
Napoleon he met with temporary reverses before 
his w^ork was all done, but in the end surmountino; 
every obstacle by force of intellectual endeavor and 
strength of character. By one enemy he was for a 
season cast down, and it seemed that the fruits of 
his pioneer struggles in developing the resources of 
Fresno county would mature in other hands, and his 
title to full credit be clouded and hid under the pre- 
tentious claims of others. The enemy referred to is 
W. S. Chapman, a man widely known on the Pacific 
coast as a speculator in lands and as a litigant in cases 
of disputed land questions ; a man of unusual ability and 
shrewdness, but one of that class of disputants whose 
cunning and energy are not always on the side of 
justice and equity. When Church had refilled the dry 
bed of Fancha creek for a distance of sixteen miles, and 
he was ready t(j divert it for irrigation. Chapman, who 
boasted in the public press, that " he had done more 
for the development of Fresno county in one day 


than lie [Church] had done hi all the years he had 
lived there," appears for the first time with any sub- 
stantial prominence upon this important scene. He 
was reputed to be the chief owner in the German Land 
association, owning one hundred thousand acres on the 
plains south of Fresno, and had become interested in 
getting water on these lands. He proposed to come 
into copartnership with Church in the ditch scheme. 
His proposition was not accepted. He then came 
forward and offered, for a one-half interest in the 
enterprise, to influence the Land association to give 
one dollar on each acre of their land, the $100,000 to 
be spent in prosecuting work on the canal. This 
Church aoTeed to do on condition that he should 
retain the controlling interest, by holding two shares 
more than half. Afterwards, A. Y. Easterby, hav- 
ing four sections of land, and being anxious to get 
water upon the same. Church turned over to him one- 
quarter of the stock, upon the stipulation that he 
siiould vote with him on all questions. Easterby, 
owing to financial embarrassments, soon after hypothe- 
cated his stock in such a way as to lose the control of it. 
Church, realizing the danger that he was in, sold out at 
once, to Chapman, for the sum of $15,000, $5,000 to be 
paid down, and the balance in one year. Chapman 
went to work immediately to raise the money. And 
he did it in this fashion : He sold to the California 
bank all the water that the ditch was able to 
carr}^ for a large sum of money, the bank being the 
owner of 60,000 acres of land, and needing^ irris^ating: 
water. He then went to the Nevada bank and 
obtained another large sum of money, for a deed of 
the ditch — what they supposed to be the canal and 
the water it contained. This transaction embarrassed 
both banks, one finding itself possessed of water but no 
ditch, and the other of a ditch and no water, and each 
supposing it had got in the purchase a ditch full of 
water. Not feeling competent with their limited knowl- 
edge of the canal business, and being averse to the 

C. B.— 111. 16 


threatened litigation, and knowing Church to be the 
most capable and reliable man to appeal to in the 
eniero-ency, the Nevada bank sent for him, telling him 
that they wanted him to price the canal, and take it off 
their hands, that they thought him better able to 
defend the rights of the canal than they were. Said 
Church, "I am not able to do it." They replied: 
"We will make you able ; you can take the canal at 
your own price ; give us your notes without security, 
we will render you every assistance." " Well," con- 
tinued Church, " less than a year ago, I sold one- 
quarter for $15,000 to W. S. Chapman, I could not 
think of offering you any less, that would make the 
price $60,000." They accepted the proposition, and 
Church paid them $10,000, and gave his note for the 
balance, to be paid at the rate of $10,000 a j^ear until 
it was all paid. The Nevada bank, as they had 
promised, proved to be his friend. 

The California bank commenced suit against him 
for 200 feet of water, the amount of their purchase 
from Chapman. The suit was a memorable one, the 
decision being in Church's favor on the ground that, 
priraarity, the transaction of Chapman with the bank 
of Cahfornia was fraudulent and void. 

After the property had been turned over to Church 
by the Nevada bank Cliapman commenced an array 
of suits against him. He again wanted a division of 
the enterprise with him. Said he: "Half of it will 
be worth more to you with my friendship and coop- 
eration than the whole of it with my hostility and 
opposition. If you do not come to terms I shall 
harass you until I break 3'ou up and you will be 
forced to give me the entire control. You will need 
my brains." Church did not think so. Hence a 
term of four years' litigation. At the end of this 
time Chapman had exhausted himself in the courts in 
San Francisco and Fresno, and was oblii^ed to oive 
up the fight and solicit a compromise. 

Chapman was interested in certain colonization 


schemes and was in debt to Church for water on con- 
tract for a considerable sum of money. In default of 
payment the Canal company turned off the water. 
The case was tried in Judij;e Wheeler's court, and the 
right of Church to this process to compel payment 
was established. Chapman owed him, also, by this 
time, $20,000 on the purchase of one-fourth of the 
Canal company's stock. His other debt, about $30,- 
000, he arranged to pay, at once, and a settlement 
was thus effected, which practically put an end to 
Chapman's schemes to embarrass and obstruct, in 
order to promote his own ends. Thus, as ever, do 
live fish travel up the stream, while dead ones float 
down with the tide. Apropos of this, a brief article 
appeared in a Fresno paper entitled, " Symbol," and 
signed M, J. Church, who is the ** old man " of the 
story. It runs thus : "An old ram very much given 
to butting usurped the possessions of an old man. 
The latter, having been one day pretty severely 
butted by the former, made up his mind to teach 
him a lesson. The old man suspended a block of 
wood from the branch of a tree. When the old 
ram came along and saw the object moving in the 
wind, he squared himself and went at it. He struck 
it a terrible blow with his brainy forehead and sent 
it flying far into the air — but it came back to 
him. This made him very angry and he whacked 
the block again and still harder. The old man looked 
on with a broad grin on his face ; worn out at last 
with laughing, he went to bed and left the combat- 
ants to settle their controversy in their own way. In 
the morning when the old man went out to the scene 
of the struggle, he saw nothing left of the old ram 
but his tail, but the spirit of fight was still alive in 
this extremity, and ever^^- time the block moved it 
wiggled defiantly. The marks of a similar ram's tail 
can be seen at the Central California colony, still try- 
ing: to wrio;a:le." 

A brief comparison will serve to suggest something 


of the actualities and the possibilities of the San Joa- 
quin valley, the Fresno portion of it being specially 

The districts in India in which irrigation is most 
successful are populated by not less than 200 and 
sometimes even by 600 people to the square mile. 

In Italy we find an average of 275 people in Pied- 
mont, and 390 persons for Lombardy. In Spain, 
over very large areas, the population ranges between 
200 to 430 people, but in some districts it is even 
more. In the district of Valencia, on the east coast 
of Spain, we find 26,000 acres, equal to about one 
township of land with us, that is perfectly irrigated. 
These 26,000 acres are dotted with 62 villages, con- 
taining a population of 72,000 people, which is at the 
rate of 1,774 persons to the square mile. But out- 
side of this the larger city of Valencia is situated on 
this district, and enjoys a population of not less than 
140,000 people, which, if added to the number of 
inhabitants in the country, makes 212,200 people sup- 
ported on a tract of land less than seven miles square. 
In the district adjacent to Valencia, but where irri- 
gation is not practised, the average population is only 
130 to the square mile. 

In the colonies about the city of Fresno the popu- 
lation is probably only 130 to 150 to the square mile. 
An average of five could be easily supported in com- 
fort on any 20-acre lot, and as there are 32 lots on 
every section, we could expect a population of say 170 
people to the square mile, which means a population 
of over a quarter of a million souls on forty miles 
square about the city of Fresno and excluding its 

A 20-acre lot is not only enough, but it enables its 
owner to live in comfort, enjoy the luxuries of life, 
educate his children in good schools, and when his 
twenty acres come into full bearing he finds that he 
can live without hard work. This is true of ordinary 
land, but when the soil is exceptionally good much 


more money is made. Some 20-acre lots bring the 
owner as much as $300 net per acre, and at this rate 
a successful farmer ma}^ soon become independent. 

As showing this all to be the result of irrigation, 
contrast Fresno township with that of Berenda, both 
in Fresno county. The latter was founded about 
the same time as Fresno, under similar circumstances 
and with about the same surroundings, but which had 
no irrigation, had remained in statu quo, its assessed 
value to-day being represented by a few thousand 

In 1888 the raisin productof California was 19,000,- 
000 pounds, one-half of w^hich w\as from Fresno 
county ; and in 1889 considerably more than one-half. 
The productiveness of the soil for raisin grapes, and 
the quantity marketed are simply astounding, hardly 
to be credited unless seen, out of all comparison with 
the yield as hitherto recorded elsewhere in the old 
world or the new. The vines grow with astonishing 
luxuriance, and at the end of the second year of their 
growth produce $75 worth of grapes per acre, sold to 
raisin manufacturers in the neiii^hborhood. The net 
product from an acre of four-year-old vines is not 
unusually $300, and I am credibly informed that on 
selected ground the net product has gone far bej'ond 
this. Fresno county stands first in California as a 
raisin producer. 

Most other fruits are produced in extraordinary 
abundance and of superior flavor. The orange and 
the lemon have been experimented with only to a 
small extent, but, as far as tried, they do well and 
promise valuable results. 

The great principle — and I feel that this being the 
essence of his work I cannot emphasize it too strongly 
— for which Mr Church has contended, and which he 
is now enoaaed in havings determined in the courts for 
all time, is this : That a man should enjoy the right to 
divert water for irrigation from any stream at any 
point along its length ; that water, as air, should be 


common to all who have occasion to use it ; that 
water should not by any law be forced or allowed to 
run to waste while human beings along its banks 
might utilize it in the production of their daily bread. 
Riparian right, as understood in common law, pre- 
vents everybody up and down the stream from taking 
out water for irrigating his land, practically compell- 
ino- it to run down into the ocean. 

Water flows and ouo<;ht to flow as it has been 
accustomed to flow ; the riparian owner is entitled to 
sit on the bank of a stream and see it flow by his land, 
for use or ornament, undiminished in quantity and 
unimpaired in quality ; this is the substance of the 
old English doctrine of riparianism. By the old Cali- 
fornia doctrine of appropriation of water, the water 
belonged to the first appropriator, and so long as he 
held it for use and not for speculation, the law pro- 
tected him in his right to it. This was the law based 
upon the requirements of water for mining purposes. In 
Colorado, where irrigation is a necessity to agriculture, 
the old common law doctrine of riparianism was over- 
ruled, in a series of able decisions — the whole principle 
being therein plainly set forth, that it was the duty of 
the court to select the system best adapted to the wants 
of the state — the system that would confer the widest 
benefits, and declaring that the conditions of the state 
made the English riparian doctrine contrary to public 
policy, and inapplicable and injurious to the interests 
of the people. The legislature of California has nc t 
made similar progress. It has struggled with the spook 
of riparian rights, so far without reaching any definite 
and final enactment ; but the trend is now in the right 
direction. The pressure upon it is growing constantly; 
the supreme court, as now constituted, is understood 
to favor irrigation. The Gordian knot will not i^rob- 
ably be cut, rather unravelled. The Wright law, 
passed in 1887, does not go quite so far as to assert 
that all rights in the waters of our non-navigable 
streams must be subservient to tillage, but it provides 


for the formation of irrigation districts, the residents 
of which may incorporate, issue bonds to get money 
for irrigation works, condemn waterslieds and reser- 
voir sites, assess damages and secure to themselves, 
by cooperation advantages that they could not obtain 
by individual effort. 

The effect of new blood in the supreme court was 
shown in its decision, rendered the latter part of Julv 
1889, in the case of A. Heilbron vs. The '76 Land and 
Water company, in which it took occasion to formu- 
late opinions consistent with the needs of this state, 
and to leave but little ground for riparians to stand 
upon. Its effect is to set up a bar against specula- 
tors who have secured a footing at the sink of the 
lesser rivers, or on the margin of streams, from which 
vantage ground to have the sovereignty over a broad 
reach of valleys and hillsides for unlimited stock 
ranges, with no neighbors or obtrusive civilization to 
bother them. 

Mr Church has spent over $100,000 to have wdiat- 
ever law on the subject that existed equitably and 
reasonably applied to new conditions in this state, and 
that the greatest good be done to the greater num- 
ber. He will spend $100,000 more if necessary to 
establish a free and perfect right of irrigation. But, 
as stated, the law is being so interpreted. The delav 
toward this has been due to the political manipulation 
at elections, and supposed to extend into the courts. 
On the side of humanity and justice in irrigation 
suits, Mr Church, who does nothing by halves, has 
had eno;ao"ed the best leojal talent on the coast, John 
Garber, Harry I. Thornton, and David S. Terry. To 
these men and to W. H. L. Barnes, who was his 
attorney in the Chapman cases, he has already paid 
the sum of money mentioned for services in defence 
of the rights, practicall}^ of the state of California. 
Thus he has carried on the fight, not being satisfied 
until it has been won in every particular — until the 
fruits of his struggle through the years have been 


made secure beyond every peradventure — until every 
obstacle in the way of irrigation has been removed for 
once and for all. 

When the conditions which gave rise to a law no 
longer exist the law itself should cease to exist, 
because it then becomes superfluous or dangerous. 
The doctrine of riparian proprietorship comes down 
to us from the unwritten law of England, and has 
been adopted in many parts of the United States. I 
assume that this is as it ought to be, owing to simi- 
larity of conditions. In a country like England the 
law of riparian rights is a consistent rule. There irri- 
gation is unnecessary, streams are numerous and run 
full to the sea at all seasons of the year, and their 
principal use is to turn the wheels of machinery. 
But no such system could have grown up in a land 
unfettered by an inherited code where broad lands 
lie under the sunlight needing only irrigation to cause 
them to bear abundant harvests, but perpetually 
sterile without it. 

But why should that ancient rule apply in Califor- 
nia? Even nature cries out against it. The wdnds 
from the Pacific ocean withhold their moisture until 
they reach the Sierra Nevada, the canons of which 
are snow reservoirs. The San Joaquin valley thirsts 
for water. The mountains, in fulfilment of their 
functions, send down a copious flood to quench the 
thirst of Fresno plains. If not for this, then for 
what ? I can find no more conspicuous evidence of 
the creator's design than this. Can man fly into the 
face of nature? Yes; shortsighted persons are 
doing this in one way or another all the time.; but 
their artifice leads only to destruction sooner or 
later. They do not realize that man himself is a part 
of the organism of creation, inanimate and animate, 
and that his safety and happiness depend upon a recog- 
nition and appreciation of nature's laws, and a life 
spent in harmony therewith. Shall God's precious 
gift to man, water, be withheld from man by man ? 


There can be no law for this which humanity will 
hold valid. Society will protect itself against such 
aggression, and its agents are forthcoming when 
called for. 

These are Mr Church's views. They inspired him 
and made him the champion of a cause which but 
for him mioht have waited lono- for another. 

I have endeavored to present an estimate of those 
thincjs which have been done by and throuoh him in 
irrigation. Had he not been called to this mission, 
just what he has accomplished might never have been 
accomplished, or else indefinitely postponed, and its 
possibilities so greatly lessened as to impair the 
growth of California in her most important indus- 
trial department. His coming was as the coming of 
]\Ioses, for he brought with him release from thral- 
dom, and a new life. 

Still, in ascribing to him this mead of praise, which 
is his without qualification, I would not depreciate 
the work of others in irrigation. In fact this art is 
older than all record. It had its birth here and there 
throughout the world in the necessit}?" to support 
dense population. But it must not be overlooked 
that, while the subject of irrigation was famdiar to 
the ethnologist and historian, it was new and strange 
in California in 1869, so far as any purpose was mani- 
fested to put it to use. Little patches of land were 
watered as flower gardens, vegetable gardens or 
orchards ; but until M. J. Church undertook to divert 
the waters of King river there were no steps taken 
in this direction in any way worthy of note. I have 
spared no pains to ascertain this, and I am convinced 
that to him is due the credit of first discovering the 
possibilities of reclaiming arid land in this state by 
irrigation, or certainly, which is more conclusive, that 
he was the first to actually reclaim such land and 
demonstrate its capabilities. No great and valuable 
idea has ever been put forth, no enterprise of pith 
and moment planned, but has given rise to contro- 


vers}^ as to the originator; hence I deem it only just 
to bear witness, so far as my investigation goes, and 
I beheve it is sufficient, that he is one of those en- 
titled to the honor and credit accorded to him in 
this record. Others may have had irrigation in 
mind; they may have discussed its feasibility; thej- 
may have intended to test it sooner or later, in some 
practical manner, but the fact is that no one, but he, 
did anything to give form and vitality to such a con- 
ception. He is a man of original and independent 
thought, and I fancy that the problem suggested 
to him by observation on the Mecosme ditch was 
wrought out chiefly in his own mind. I apprehend 
that he did not go into books deeply, if at all, to famil- 
iarize himself with the experience of nations in the 
artificial distribution of water for agricultural pur- 
poses. It appears that his reasoning was altogether 
in the concrete. He saw what a transformation water 
had made in a little garden and orchard in the foot- 
hills of El Dorado county; his thoughts once set to 
running in this channel, he noticed that everywhere 
water touched the thirsty soil it responded gladly and 
generously; he noticed that whatever was planted, 
incidentally or accidentally, on Fresno plains grew 
luxuj'iantly if it was only moistened. An evolution 
was in process in his mind; facts pregnant with sug- 
gestions to him, however, went unnoticed by others, 
who rode and walked heedlessly over treasures 
greater than California's mines ever yielded, looking 
alwaj's for riches to more remote and less certain 
sources. The stages by which he reached his mag- 
nificent deduction are surely simple, but so are all 
great things after they have been explained. If he 
derived his information from books and by adaptation 
of knowledge so acquired, what a precedence it gives 
him over all other students of his time and in his 
department of industry in California! There are 
two classes of distinctively and equally useful and 
worthy men : those who discover and those who apply. 


Certainly Mr Church stands preeminent among the 
latter, and I am inclined to believe that it was largely 
by force of his own practical reasoning from cause to 
effect that he reproduced results similar to those 
arrived at by ingenious minds from time immemorial. 
The day will come when his name will be second to 
none among the promoters of wealth, civilization, and 
power in this state, and though for the present what 
is written may not be fully appreciated, time will 
emphasize its seriousness. His achievements, under 
new and perplexing conditions, give him a place in 
other than local annals; he has contributed, by his 
talent and toil, to the industrial history of the world, 
and in the universal record his name should be pre- 
served. To understand the work that he has done, 
single-handed and alone practically, let us take a 
rapid view of the history of irrigation, noting that 
its development and control has been largely a com- 
munity affair or in the hands of government. 

Irrigation, it need scarcely be said, is no new thing. 
Tradition asserts that Noah constructed a zanja from 
Mount Ararat to water his vineyard, and it is 
probably true that in nearly all oriental countries, 
extending far back into prehistoric times, canals and 
aqueducts were built to convey water long distances 
to fertilize extensive desert wastes. In all the hisch- 
lands where the sources of the Euphrates rise, in 
Persia, in Egypt, in India, and in China are works 
of this sort, which must have been in existence before 
man had begun to record his own annals. 

The summers in Egypt, in Syria, and in Asia Minor 
are almost rainless. In such climates the necessity 
of irrigation is obvious, and the loss of the ancient 
means of furnishing it helps to explain the diminished 
fertility of most of the countries in question. 

Upon the Nile to-day, just as it was thousands of 
years ago, one still hears the creaking of the water- 
wheels through the whole night, while the poorer 
cultivators unceasingly ply the simple shadoof, or 


bucket and sweep, laboriously raising the water from 
trough to trough by as many as six or seven stages 
when the water is low 

Says Ritter: "The civilized people of Egypt trans- 
formed, by canals, the waste into the richest granary 
of the world. They liberated themselves from the 
shackles of the rock and sand desert, in the midst of 
which, by a wise distribution of the fluid through the 
solid geographical form, by irrigation, in short, they 
created a region of culture most rich in historical 

No matter in what part of the world investigations 
are made, they all result in the discovery that irriga- 
tion is a very ancient art, and that it was practised 
by the former nations of the earth on a most magnif- 
icent scale. Mr Rich, whose residence at the court 
of Bagdad with the powerful protection of the pasha 
afforded him every facility for comprehensive investi- 
gation, describes the whole country around the ruins 
of Babylon, a distance of forty-eight miles, as a per- 
fectly flat and uncultivated waste, but states that it 
is evident from the number of canals by which it is 
traversed that ib must have been formerly well culti- 
vated. M. Jules Oppert has succeeded in making a 
series of minute surveys and in drawing up detailed 
plans for the immense city. His opinion is that even 
the largest calculations as to its vast extent are not 
exaggerated, and he puts down that extent at the 
astounding figure of 500 square kilometers, tlie 
square kilometer being 1,196 square yards. This is 
very nearly eighteen times the size of Paris. This 
enormous area, however, was not all occupied. It 
comprised within the walls huge tracts of cultivated 
lands and gardens, all of which were irrigated from 
the Euphrates. Nineveh, too, under the indefati- 
gable labors of Layard, has been shown to have 
contained a network of irrigating canals, many of 
them cut out of the solid rock. 

Some of the magnificent canals in the Punjab sys- 


tern which has converted that section of India into 
a luxuriant garden, are the old ruined canals of former 
dynasties repaired and enlarged. Mention of irrigat- 
inof canals are found in the annals of Akbar's reiujn. 
As early as the fourteenth century Feroz Shah had 
a laro-e canal du<y to brings water from the mount- 
ains to Hissar and Shahsie. Akbar found this canal 
in ruins, and passed a "canal act," ordering it to be 
repaired and enlarged, so that "this jungle, in which 
subsistence is obtained w^ith thirst, be converted into 
a place of comfort, free from all evil." 

The Moors were great well-diggers, and were 
experts in the irrigating art in all its forms. So care- 
ful were they in maintaining the details of their 
sj^stem that they kept in public offices bronze models 
of their dams and sluices as guides for repairs and 
rebuilding. They carried the art into Spain and 
Sicily, just as Egypt taught Assyria and Babylon, 
Carthage and Phoenicia, and so by gradual degrees 
to Greece and Rome. 

Modern India affords us the most conspicuous 
example of irrigation on a grand scale, and it is here 
more than anywhere else in the world that it is con- 
ducted according to one great systematic scheme. In 
most other countries irrigation is merely an accident. 
In jiiany parts of India irrigation is the very condi- 
tion of existence, both of the government and of the 

Thomas Stevens writes of the great India irrigat- 
ing canals in quite a picturesque and enthusiastic 
manner. " I do not remember anything," he says, 
"that impressed me more favorably as a genuine 
economic enterprise the whole world round than the 
canal system of India. People go into raptures over 
the Taj, the elephanta caves, and the other wonders 
that are to be seen in India, but to me the most won- 
derful of all were the canals that have practically 
rescued the teeming millions of the peninsula from 


France is the country of Europe where one finds 
irrigation practised under the greatest variety of phy- 
sical circumstances, and at points widely separated, 
and where in consequence a great diversity of 
interests exists and a wide range of practice has 
grown up. 

Besides the great variety of physical conditions 
and results surrounding and attending irrigation, 
we find in France an example of an attempted com- 
plete governmental control of irrigation and water- 
right matters, under a comparatively liberal form of 
government, and amid a free and enlightened people. 
The government of France has of late years specially 
encouraged irrigation in a variety of ways, and here 
one finds examples of irrigation enterprise both ancient 
and modern, and of all grades and forms of organiza- 
tion — from the small private ditch project to the large, 
costly, and complete canal system, wholly built and 
managed as public works of the nation. 

As a general thing, however, France is less an 
irrigation country from necessity and for general 
profit than is California, the valleys of France, with 
exceptions limited to small regions, receiving from six- 
teen to thirty-two inches of rain each year, while ours 
of California receive only ten to eighteen inches as a 
rule. The necessity for and value of irrigation in 
France was not suflficiently appreciated by the gener- 
ations past to bring about a general sentiment in 
favor of national encouragement to irrigation enter- 
prise. Irrigation there, as in California, has been 
until within the past few years looked upon more as a 
local necessity than as a valuable auxiliary to general 

In Belgium irrigation is extensively practised m 
the district La Campine, where the whole process is 
carried out in the niost methodical way, and under 
strict governmental supervision. 

Artificial watering in a desultory manner and to a 
limited extent is carried on in Portugal and Greece, 


as well as on the table-lands of Moravia, Poland, and 
parts of Russia, and the hot valleys of Persia and 

When the Spanish conquerors overran Peru they 
found the agriculturists of that country practising 
the art of irrigation in much the same manner as 
the Spaniards had learned of the Moors. When 
Cortes conquered Mexico the same practice was 
observed among the Aztecs ; and so, too, it has been 
found that other native races of the Pacific coast 
knew of the advan tastes of the artificial use of water, 
and put that knowledge to use. By the aid of 
artificial distribution of water it is shown how com- 
paratively small tracts of naturally desert country 
w^ere made to support a dense and powerful popula- 
tion, w^hile with the cessation of the art came decay 
and desolation. It is shown again that the early- 
rulers of the earth believed irrigation to be as impor- 
tant an institution as a standing army, and that it 
was considered of equal importance to reclaim the 
sterile land as to conquer neighboring nations; and 
that the works constructed in this belief stand amonsr 
the engineering^ and architectural wonders of the 
world. On the mainland and throughout the Nahua 
territory, few fertile spots were left uncultivated. The 
land was densely populated and irrigation was a 

The San Francisco Chronicle of August 23, 1889, 
in an able study of irrigation, in which article I find 
some of the preceding notes handy for my own use, 
makes the following pertinent remarks : 

" California owes no small share of the position 
which she occupies to-day to the help which has been 
derived from irrigation. Almost every step wiiich 
the state has taken in advance has been anticipated 
by new developments in the application of w'ater to 
the purposes of agriculture. It is not too much to 
claim that, were it not for the utilization of the 
waters of her many streams upon the apparently 


sterile and desert-like wastes of the interior, the fame 
of California would still be confined to the product of 
her mines ; and the oranges, raisins, and wines which 
have made the name of the golden state known the 
world around would never have had existence. Were 
it not for the advance which has been made in the 
last twenty years in the science of irrigation the 
population of California would not be half the num- 
ber that it is to-day. Whole districts, which are 
to-day thickly populated and in the highest degree 
productive, would still be in their normal desert con- 
dition and fit only for the habitation of the coyote 
and the rabbit. Without irrigation the major portion 
of the San Joaquin valley and the bulk of the three 
southernmost counties would be in the same barren 
condition in which they were found by the padres 
and the earliest settlers as they pushed northward 
fro 11 Mexico. 

" It is not intended to claim that without irrigation 
California would have had no agricultural develop- 
ment whatever, but those familiar with the history of 
the state will concede that that development owes 
three-fourths of its present actuality to the care of 
water. Even in those portions of the state where 
many branches of agriculture have been successfully 
pursued without the aid of water, it has been shown 
that when irrigation is adopted better returns can be 
realized from one-third or even less the area that is 
necessary without that aid. There are many sections 
of California to-day where farmers will boldly claim 
that they have the greatest difficulty in making a 
bare livino^ from the cultivation of half or even an 
entire section (640 acres) of land. Yet close b}^ them 
will be found others who, with a far less outlay of 
capital and labor, secure returns tenfold more ample 
from not more than twenty or thirty acres." 

As to amount of development consequent upon 
irrigation, Fresno leads all the other counties of 
California. Says the San Francisco Chronicle: 


"Less than twenty years ago a few scattering stock- 
men and miners represented the entire population of 
the vast territory comprising the five and a half 
million acres of Fresno county. The waters of her 
numerous streams flowed unheeded toward the ocean, 
and of the million and a half fertile acres of the 
valley not enough was under cultivation to afford 
sustenance for a single family. Cattle and sheep 
ranged the plains during the short period when 
pasturage was to be had, and the man who had the 
temerity to suggest that the soil was fit for the plow 
was laughed at as little better than a lunatic. The 
entire valley, for the greater portion of the year, was 
in truth a desert, and those who were best acquainted 
with it were hardly to be blamed if they fancied that 
the man who paid one dollar an acre for such land 
w^as little better than an idiot. 

"But what a contrast is seen to-day. The desert 
of tw^enty years ago has disappeared along with the 
long-horned cattle and scrubby sheep. In place of 
the hut of the sheepherder may be seen the hand- 
some homes of thousands of well-to-do settlers, while 
the site of the corral, round which the coyotes howled 
at night, is now occupied by a bustling, substantial, 
enterprising city of 20,000 inhabitants. Where the 
stock wore trails in their daily journey to the river 
for w^ater are now immense irrigating canals, and 
w^here they found hard w^ork keeping life in their 
gaunt forms on the scanty herbage of the plains are 
now thousands of acres of fruitful orchard, vineyard, 
and alfalfa. 

"And when the traveler who perchance had passed 
this way twenty years ago notes the change and 
inquires by what means the marvelous w^ork has been 
accomplished, he receives the solution in one w^ord — 

"In 1869 the first diversion of water for irrigation 
was made from King's river by M. J. Church and 
his associates, who had taken up a large tract of 

C. B.— III. 17 


government land, which they proposed to Irrigate. 
It is upon some of this land that the city of Fresno 
now stands. These pioneers in irrigation were met 
with every discouragement possible. They had no 
capitalists at their back to furnish means for the 
prosecution of the work, but were obliged to roll up 
their sleeves and go to work themselves with pick, 
shovel, and scraper. They were met by all sorts of 
discourao-ement from the cattlemen who had had full 
sway for so long, and the least of whose opposition 
was the sneer that the plains could not be made to 
produce enough to keep a jack-rabbit from starvation. 
When the indomitable settlers finally got the water 
on the land and put in their first grain crop by the 
aid of irrigation, the cattlemen did all they could to 
ruin the farmers by turning stock into the grain-fields, 
and annoying them in every way that fiendish human 
nature could suggest. But the farmers persevered, 
and even the stockmen were oblig-ed to confess their 
astonishment at the immense crops produced by the 
aid of irrigation on land which they had alwaj's 
deemed worthless for agricultural purposes. 

"Although practically the growth of irrigation in 
California has been confined to the last thirty years, 
yet that period has witnessed some of the most 
marvelous changes that any country has ever seen. 
Tens of thousands of acres of sterile wilderness in 
the counties which have been named have been 
converted into orchards and vineyards of a productive- 
ness which staggers belief. Lands upon which men 
have died of starvation and thirst have been converted 
into scenes of tropical beauty and fruitfulness which 
cannot be equaled in the world. Thousands of pros- 
perous homes have been erected where but a few short 
years since naught but a solitary waste had existed 
since tlie foundation of the world. Millions of dollars 
have been added to the wealth of the state, and tens 
of millions more yet remain to be brought from the 
soil with the aid of water. Though what has been 


accomplished is little short of miraculous, it is after 
all but a small beiiinningj. Where one acre of desert 
has been reclaimed there are a thousand still awaiting 
the vivifying application of water to bring forth fruit 
in abundance. Where a sino-le stream has been utilized 
upon the parched earth there is still a thousand -fold 
more water that can be made available by the adop- 
tion of methods of preservation and distribution 
which are perfectly understood." 

In many ways Mr Church has been a builder. He 
has assisted materially in the building of every church 
in Fresno county, and some 3'ears ago he donated 
five acres of o-round to each of the church oraan- 
izations, and the same to each of the fraternal 
organizations and benevolent societies, and ten acres 
to the county for burial places for the dead. In the 
fall of 1889 he erected a church in Fresno, on the 
corner of Mariposa and O streets, for the seventh- 
day adventists, fashioned after the Metropolitan 
temple, San Francisco, which seats from 1,000 to 
1,500 persons, and cost about $45,000. He is a 
libsral and cheerfal contributor to the elevation of 
man by every worthy means. He enjoys his wealth 
for the good it enables him to do. He counts neitlier 
time, toil, nor mone}^ devoted to an ennobling, human- 
izing end. This church is worthy of note, and merits 
more than a general reference. It is certainly the 
handsomest and most becomino^ house of worsliip in 
southern California. 

The building is of brick, sixty-one feet six inches 
wide, by one hundred and nine feet six inches long. 
It is entered from O street by a portico thirty-one feet 
long, and a front entrance twelve feet wide, finished 
in granite, on either side of which are toilet and cloak 
rooms, with double stairs leading to the gallery. 

The auditorium, w^ith bowled floor, fifty-four by 
sixty-one feet, has six entrances, and four mullion 
windows, all square heads, finishing close under the 
gallery, which is supported by a stringer on five iron 



columns, with large gothic capitals, the ceiling under 
the gallery and the stringer being finished in white 
and o-old, and the columns in antique bronze. On 
each side of the windows is a wall pilaster, finished 
in two tints of Sicilian marble and moulded edges and 
bronze moulded sunk panels, the bases, dadoes, caps, 
rosettes, and their moulding being in antique bronze. 

The rostrum, five feet high, sets out from a large 
pilastered alcove finished in granite and marble, the 
pilasters behig finished to match the others, and being 
surmounted, by a flat, gothic arch in marble white 
and gold, with pinnacles also in white and gold. 

The back of the alcove contains the decalogrue and 
appropriate mottoes. In front of the rostrum is the 
middle platform, four feet high, containing the bap- 
tistry, in front of which is the choir platform, one 
step high, inclosed by a paneled balustrade. 

The side entrance, on Mariposa street, finished like 
the front entrance, in blocks of granite, and antique 
bronze doors, opens to the side hall, the parlors, the 
chapel, and by-stairs to the primary and intermediate 
rooms of the Sunday school, and to the gallery, 
which is approached through four entrances from four 
flights of stairs. The wainscots of all the halls and 
stairways, except those in the rear, are finished in 
cherry, amaranth, and mahogany in the natural wood, 
with long and short panels alternating. 

The gallery has a terraced floor and paneled balus- 
trades, with resetted corbels, finished also in natural 
wood, as above. On each side of the gallery are 
three mullion windows, with flat, pointed arches and 
diamond-shaped transoms, on each side of which is a 
pilaster finished in marble and bronze, like those 
below. Opposite the rostrum is a large triple window, 
with equilateral arched heads and large spandrils, set 
in a gothic alcove, with tall gothic columns of iron, 
finished in bronze, to support the main tower. On 
either side of this alcove is a smaller one, set diago- 


iially, containing a mullion window with equilateral 
arched heads and large transom. 

The ceiling, about forty feet high, is shaped like a 
platter, fifty- four feet wide by eighty feet long, with 
collar beams and curved ribs, all moulded, and set- 
ting on twelve antique bronze brackets on the wall 
pilasters. The ceiling is well tied by eight tie rods, 
with brace and king rods, which meet at eight orna- 
mental wheels, finished in white and gold. 

The auditorium is lighted below the galler}' with 
twenty-four gas jets, and six extra jets for the speaker 
and choir. From the gallery ceiling are suspended 
three New London sun-burners, one having seventy- 
two jets and the others twenty-four each, with ven- 
tilating pipes, finished in white and gold, running 
through the roof. The ceiling is otherwise ventilated 
by sixteen openings, and beneath the gallery are 
fifteen register ventilators. 

The building is heated by a twelve horse-power 
engine, and by hot-water pipes and radiators. The 
hot-water pipes also run to the wash-bowls and the 

All the windows and transoms are of stained glass — 
cathedral, Venetian, opalized, and jeweled. The win- 
dows and all doors are protected on the outside by 
wire screens. 

The auditorium and gallery have a seating capacity 
of 1,500. The chairs are all set in curves, except 
those in the straight sides of the gallery. The gal- 
lery chairs have tilting seats, and are finished in 
mahogany, black enamel and gilt; the auditorium 
chairs have tilting seats and backs, and are finished 
in mahogany, maroon enamel, and gilt. 

The exterior of the building is finished in pressed 
brick, with flat pilasters on each side of the openings. 
The roof is a gambrel, with main and deck cornices, 
having gables over the openings and pinnacles over 
the pilasters. At each of the iliree street corners of 
the building is a pilastered tower, set diagonally, 


Avith steep lapped roof. Over the front entrance tlie 
main tower rises one hundred and five feet from the 
sidewalk. This tower is reached by a walk over the 
o-allery ceiling, leading from the Mariposa street stair- 
way to the pendulum room, which is surmounted by 
a steep, square dome, in which is the clock movement; 
above this is the dial-room, with four dials of plate 
o-lass, six feet six inches in diameter, ground on both 
their sides, and lighted up at night. Above the dial- 
room is the belfry, containing a bell-metal bell weigh- 
inty with its mountings three thousand five hundred 
and fifty pounds. The clock is a tower clock, with 
fourteen feet pendulum, and strikes the hours. The 
belfry is surmounted by a two-story square dome, 
which carries the clock weights. Each story of the 
tower is finished with neat cornices, and the vertical 
parts with pilasters and spandrils in Philadelphia 

Mr Church is the father of ten children, five of 
whom survive, two daughters and three sons. They 
are named Lorenzo, John M. and George F. ; the 
daughters are Mrs Lodema Fanning and Amanda 
Munn. They are married and comfortably settled 
on farms in Fresno county. They are inclined to a 
way of living less stirring and energetic than that 
which characterized his labors. His wife, who had 
been a faithful and devoted companion, a sharer in 
all his trials and triumphs for forty-six years, died on 
the 14th day of February, 1888. Mr Church has a 
number of grandchildren who promise well. His 
granddaughter, Lenora Dorsey, adopted by him in 
her infancy owing to her motlier's death, took 
lessons in painting in San Francisco, and exhibits 
unusual talent. 

Mr Church takes a bright view of California, both 
as to population and material wealth. He thinks 
that 5,000,000 inhabitants within the next decade not 
an extravagant estimate, and that the increase in real 
estate values in many parts of the state will not be 


less than 100 per cent during the same period. He 
entertains an idea that is peculiar regarding immi- 
gration into the United States, to wit, that not only 
individuals but nations will flow into this country 
under the impetus of religious union. He beUeves 
that California will be the ground upon which civili- 
zation will reach its highest development. 

Mr Church never united with any fraternal 
organization except the good templars. He is strictly 
temperate in all things, a man who does not live to 
eat, but who eats that he may live and labor. He 
hates every moral sham in whatever form it may 
appear or whatever benefit it may propose, being 
convinced as the tree so will be the fruits. In 1887, 
while on a visit to his old home in Pennsylvania, he 
attended the sessions of the national reform and 
prohibition convention, and contrived to be present 
at their secret counsels. He was honest in his desire 
to understand their motives and manner of work, 
but learning that they were altogether inconsistent, 
intriguing for power and place, using religion only as 
a blind to keep to themselves the spoils of office, he 
became disgusted and withdrew, preferring to labor 
alone, if need be, although at a disadvantage, than to 
ally himself to a dishonest association. 

In politics he was a whig, and voted for William 
H. Harrison in 1840 and Clay in 1844. In 1888 he 
voted for Benjamin Harrison, and has been a con- 
sistent republican since the demise of the old whig 
party in 1856. He is a strong advocate of the doctrine 
of protection, and believes in a tarifl' that will protect. 
He is thoroughly American, his motto being America 
for Americans. 

He apprehends great danger from making citizens 
of all sorts of demoralized and degraded immigrants, 
who neither understand nor care for our republican 
institutions; hence he looks upon a revision of our 
immigration and naturalization laws as essential. 
But his greatest fear is a transformation and per- 


version of the spirit of our government by a union of 
church and state. His impressions regarding this 
matter are radical He believes a certain state of 
things to be true, and draws conclusions therefrom 
that are startling, though rational, if his premises be 
well taken. He looks upon religion generally, at this 
day, as a condition of actual apostasy, the churches 
almost universally having none but a secular ambi- 
tion. His opinion is that the struggle for ecclesiastical 
supremacy has been transferred from Europe to 
America, and will be brought to issue within our own 
government. He considers that a recognition of God 
in the constitution, which all churchmen desire to 
secure, would be the opening wedge. All creeds 
unite for this purpose, then step by step religion super- 
sedes law, and then the strongest and most ingenious 
sect usurps control. In his mind this sect is the 
catholic church, which is already numerous, wealthy, 
and influential, and is rapidly outstripping the other 
denominations — a most ambitious organization, labor- 
ing to rule in the temporal councils of the earth. 
Let there be a union of church and state, and the 
church will be that of Rome. 

As extravagant as the idea may appear to others, 
he expects to see this union an accomplished fact, and 
the Vatican transferred to our national capital. Rome 
in Europe and Rome in the United States, a gigantic 
and tireless orofanism, is working^ towards this end. 
Put God into the text of our constitution, later 
supplement that amendment by prescribing how the 
divinity shall be worshipped, that is, according to the 
tenets of the dominant church truly militant — let this 
be once fixed, and the immigration of individuals to 
the United States will be changed to that of nation- 
alities — whole communities and states rallying around 
tlie banner of the cross, that it may again sway the 
world, and that they may wax fat under it. In this 
he sees the death of our republic, for the end antic i- 


pated contemplates only one religion and the state 
swallowed up in it. 

In the convention of the national prohibition and 
reform party, referred to above, he found the whole 
United States divided off into districts, a secretary 
for each, who presides over it and watches, and at 
the end of the year they report progress, stating 
what they have done within the state and district, 
aad how the people all stand. He heard all their 
reports, made within closed doors, only certain parts 
of which were allowed to be published. It was 
reported that the catholics were striving to capture 
the working men's party. The secretaries, who 
stated that nearly the whole south was in sj^mpathy 
with the movement and that good progress was being 
made in the north, were instructad to labor with the 
working men's party and the young men's christian 

The catholics and the protestants appeared to be 
working in opposition ; the former are not demon- 
strative, but encourage in every way they can the 
work that is soinuc on. As to the workino; men's 
pxrty, it was finally concluded that it made no differ- 
ence whether they won that party or not, so that it 
would go with them, or whether the Romanists 
did, it would all work the same way. 

Says Mr Church, whose report I quote: "As you 
know, Cleveland was defeated at the last election. 
It is no wonderment to me, because I know how it 
was done, and it will always be so in the future. 
Every principal candidate is going to be interviewed 
from this on before election — interviewed by a man 
that he knows nothing of and does not suspect. He 
will express his views regarding a national Sunday 
law, or the recognition of the almighty in the consti- 
tution. His views, if favorable, are made known 
through the Christian Statesman, published in Phila- 
delphia, to all national reform and prohibition peo- 


pie, and they throughout the union work for him I 
as their champion. I 

"You ask me how the conflicting rehgions can " 
unite on such a measure as this. I will explain. 
The protestants and Romanists are a unit in this 
matter for the present. I was invited to attend their 
meetings, in which their ministers came together to 
see if they could not agree upon a plan of consolida- 
tion. They have agreed upon a plan of consolidation 
ever^^where in the United States, and the people do 
not understand it. A convocation of this kind in 
Fresno was at work six weeks before they could 

"Says the baptist: 'I cannot see how we are to 

" 'Well,' says the methodist, 'state your objections.' 
' 'In the first place, I believe in baptism by immer- 
sion," replies the baptist, 'and you believe in sprink- 
ling. I cannot give up my belief and you cannot 
give up yours.' 

"Savsthe methodist: 'True enougfh, but there is 
a baptism that supersedes the necessity of any water 
baptism, that is, baptism with the holy ghost and 
with fire. John the baptist baptised with water, but 
Christ, who was mightier than he, was baptised with 
the holy ghost and with fire.' 

"Well, they argue back and forth, and finally decide 
that they can agree on that. They pool their issues, 
to speak profanely. Then comes the sabbath ques- 
tion. The real sabbath, the seventh day set apart in 
scripture, is ignored to suit all. The Sunday, the first 
day of the week, is an institution of Rome, but short- 
siglited and bigoted protestants overlook that in their 
haste to acquire legal recognition of the great creator." 

No later than the summer of 1889 Dr Wilbur 
F. Crafts, the secretary of the American sabbath 
union, came and lectured throughout California in 
advocacy of a national statute enforcing the observ- 
ance of Sunday. So far as the public are informed 


through the press, he does not seem to have met with 
such a reception as Mr Church's apprehensions would 
indicate, lu fact he was very tartly admonished that 
no eflort to confound religious and civil affairs will 
be countenanced on this coast. To the credit of Cali- 
fornians it should be noted that this is the only state 
in the union which has not some sort of a Sunday law. 

Mr Church, in addition to his other enterprises in 
Fresno county, built, in the centre of the town, a 
large flouring-mill, turned by water-power, furnished 
by one of the branches of his canal, which passes 
through the heart of the city — an institution which 
has saved the people of the country three or four 
hundred thousand dollars yearly in the price of their 
flour, and has been of great convenience besides. 
This constant and living stream of water, 140 cubic 
feet per second, flowing uninterruptedly throughout 
the year, furnishes and will furnish for time indefinite 
an excellent means of sewering the growing city of 
Fresno, in a way that probably no other city on the 
coast enjoys, while it is invaluable also for fire pur- 

The circumstances attending the introduction of 
this ditch and the construction of the mill form an 
incident showing fairly the spirit of the times, the 
general state of things and the character of the man 
whose life and historical factorship are being con- 
sidered. He is seen, as on various other occasions 
that micrht be named, in the litrht of a man who in 
thought and action was in advance of the people about 
him; also, necessarih^, in the light of a man who was 
not understood or appreciated at the time In order 
that such men may be comprehended and properly 
measured, the community must be allowed a season, 
sometimes a good long season, to familiarize them- 
selves with facts accomplished and the author of them. 
But to the story, which is suggestive of all I note 
and much besides. As Fresno began to be built up 
pretty substantially, Mr Church, with pioneer instinct, 


saw the importance of having a flour-mill somewhere. 
The town needed it already, and would need it more 
and more. He looked about for an eligible site, with 
the view of offering an inducement to somebody to 
come forward and put up the mill. He thought the 
nearer town it could be located the better. He made 
a survey, and found that it could be put almost in the 
heart of the town. He published in a local journal 
a notice that he would give any good man of means 
the water privilege to run the mill, if he would come 
and start it, and that there was as good a location in 
the town for a mill as anywhere in the state, water- 
power of fifteen feet fall. Two men from San Jose 
came to see him and at once fell in with the idea, 
and went to work buying lumber and excavating for 
the foundation for the mill, Mr Church began to 
deliver water to them at the mill, according to agree- 
ment. About the time that he had the ditch dug 
they quarreled, whereupon, to save the enterprise and 
make it a success, he paid them for what they had 
done, and went on and built the mill himself. 

As the work on the mill drew near completion all 
the citizens in the town began to wonder what was to 
be done with the waste water, a tremendous' volume 
to be disposed of surely. In the first place they had 
thought it impossible to ever get water to the mill, and, 
in the event that he should, it was generally considered 
that it would be impossible to run the mill, from the 
simple fact that he could never get rid of the waste. 
That question, w^hat he was going to do about it, was 
often asked Mr Church. His ordinary reply was: 
" Don't give yourselves any uneasiness on this point, 
I will find a way to get rid of the waste." When the 
time came he commenced, as he had previously medi- 
tated, to make a waste ditch through the centre 
of Fresno street, that is, pretty nearly through the 
centre of the town. He started this one Sunday 
morning, — on Sunday because on that day he could not 
be enjoined; besides it is not the sabbath recognized 


by his church. The town was soon aroused and filled 
with indignation, upon seeing thirty head of horses at 
work, ten span to one big ditch-plow, plowing up the 
very middle of the chief and best street, from end to 
end. The first man who discovered it, warned Mr 
Church to quit, and threatened him with all the hor- 
rors of the law. " Stop the work yourself," was the 
quiet reply he got. Mr Church had his men all 
instructed ; they knew what they were about and they 
would carry out their orders to the letter. It was 
not long before over two hundred excited people gath- 
ered round ; and, finally, as the teams kept on as 
though there were none present, messengers were 
sent off to the board of supervisors, with an idea 
that the whole thing would be stopped. But, before 
noon that day, a ditch was finished through the entire 
town, to carry not less than a hundred feet of water, 
four feet deep and about fifteen feet wide. The com- 
mittee that had been dispatched to the supervisors 
came back, and all hands settled down with the idea 
that on Monday Church would suffer for what he had 
done. Meantime the board of supervisors and the dis- 
trict attorney investigated the matter as to what plan 
to pursue. Church was interviewed by the district 
attorney, who, after he had indulged himself in impu- 
dent remarks and threats, was invited, just for the 
fun of the thing, to go and examine the records and 
see if he could not discover there that Church had a 
legal right to do what he was doing. He did so and 
found the right recorded as indicated from the land 
association, owning over 80,000 acres of land in 
Fresno, They had given him a deed to the right of 
way over each and everj^ section of land for ditching 
purposes, given before Fresno was laid out as a town, 
and with the right reserved forever. " Now," said 
he to his complainants, "go to the Central Pacific 
railroad company, to whom the town-site sections had 
belonged, and who have a good deal unsold, and ask 
if they did not make me the same grant." In fact, 


they had not far to go to find that the railroad corn- 
pan}^, at its own expense, put in the culvert under the 
railroad, to carry off the waste water, and, besides, as 
an acknowledo^ment of the value of the work that he 
Avas doing for the town and county, they donated to 
him a whole block, with the privilege of selecting it 
in any part of the town. And so the clamor ceased. 
The waste ditch, however, was soon covered with 
planks and earth and the street looked just as any 
other street. Church had seen all this from the 
beginning but his neighbors had not. He allowed 
them to lash themselves into a fury and then he let 
them down gently. At this time there is scarcely 
any consideration that could induce the Fresno peo- 
ple to give up this ditch, which seemed at first only 
a nuisance and an outrage. 

It is impossible to give a satisfactory idea of the 
moral or humane aspect of Mr Church's character — to 
make the portraiture complete, in this respect, with- 
out noting, however briefly, some of the many other 
useful and beneficent acts of his life. They tell their 
own story. 

The things I refer to are not such as ordinary 
men do. They are peculiar to him in this, and 
manifest the principles which have inspired and 
guided him throughout his career. 

His life in Fresno county has been one of continu- 
ous strife Avith certain people, as explained ; his friends 
have been loyal and true, but his enemies have been 
bitter and vindictive. 

He has not lost any of his kindly feeling for his 
fellow-beings, however, because of some adversaries 
who persecuted him, and would have rejoiced at his 
death. On the contrary, his faith in and love of 
mankind has been deep and warm all the wa}^ through 
his conflicts. This has been evinced in many ways, 
but above all in this : that where his labors have 
resulted in his personal aggrandizement, his neighbors 
have been vastly more profited by them in the aggre- 


gate than he himself. A careful analysis of his plans 
and methods will show that this result is not inci- 
dental, but that he intended and calculated that the 
consequences should be just what they are. In fact, 
there is so little that is selfish or grasping in this 
man's nature, that if you do not see in him an exem- 
plification of discriminating, practical philanthrophy 
you can have no conception of his character, or appre- 
ciation of his generosity or intelligence. For instance, 
he built and equipped a sanitarium in Fresno some 
years ago, and has conducted it on a small scale up to 
the present. Does doubting Thomas ask whether it 
was not undertaken as an investment, a monev-makino- 
scheme ? The history of the institution is offered in 
answer. It has been pecuniarily self-sustaining. It 
was never planned to do more. This is the height of 
the founder's ambition. There are public charities 
which could be made to sustain themselves, and their 
efficiency and usefulness would be all the greater in 
consequence, for thrift expands and improves benevo- 
lent institutions. Mr Church could have turned an 
honest penny in his sanitarium if he had wished to do 
so, but by making his charges for the care and treat- 
ment of patients very easy, or by remitting them in 
cases of need altogether, he has really contributed 
the profits which he could have controlled to the wel- 
fare of the community, in the form of the comfort, 
relief from misery, and restoration to health of many 
who live to pay or not to pay, but w4io all bless his 
name. I was much interested by a visit I made to 
this institution in July 1889. I saw those in charge 
of the sanitarium, the physicians and nurses, and also 
a number of the patients. The expression of all w^as 
with one accord, as I have stated. 

In 1890 he besfan to build a new life-savins; and 
pain-killing institution, which in size and appoint- 
ments is the largest and best of its kind on the Pa- 
cific coast. I speak of it, by anticipation, as finished. 
It is constructed outwardly and inwardly upon the 


most improved ideas, and while it is the same benefi- 
cent institution in principle that its predecessor w as, 
it differs from it only in the enlarged and magnificent 
scope of its usefulness. The system of treatment is 
hydropathic or nutritive, and is intended to remove 
or counteract diseases without the use of medicines. 
The method is not a new one, it has been tested by 
experience, and has been found, in the practice of 
many learned and pliilosophic physicians, to be the 
simplest, most rational, and ordinarily the most effective 
cure, in other words, it is the use of strictly natural 
and simple means for the assistance of nature. 

The theoretical basis of hydropathy is wide and 
fundamental enough to include within its scope all 
diseases; for all morbid conditions of the human econ- 
omy may be influenced materially by the regulated 
use of heat and cold, by means of bathing and other 
water appliances, coupled with a strict and rational 
system of diet, which in the hands of honest and 
skilful practitioners are recognized as powerful factors 
in therapeutics. But space will not allow me to dis- 
cuss hydropath}^ or, as it is more commonlj^ called, 
the water-cure, at this time. My idea is merely to 
note the incident, as suggestive of the kindly and 
generous impulses of the man through his acts; philo- 
sophically considered, I desire to give a just and fair 
idea of the personality involv^ed. 

It is not Mr Church's idea to make money out of 
this institution — in fact, he proposes to do nothing 
more in this respect than he did with the former, and 
his neighbors so understand him. It is his earnest 
desire, however, and* he goes to work practically to 
develop it, in order that, to the greatest extent of liis 
ability and his means, he niay provide a charity that 
is at once an evidence of his practical forethought, 
and of his insiglit into the best means of promoting 
tlie happiness of his kind. The chief end he has in 
view is to provide a home for invalids where they 
may be cared for by disinterested and skilful physi- 


cians, according to a rational system — tliis and this 
alone — thereby saving as many as pf»ssible from the 
wiles of incompetent and unscrupulous practitioners, 
who depend less upon the drugs they use than upon 
tlieir ability to play upon the weaknesses and credulity 
of their patients. The physicians in charge of tlie 
medical department of the institution are Dr W. H. 
Maxon and his wife Dr Hattie Maxon, both of whom 
are well known in their profession in the east. 

The sanitarium building stands on high ground, at 
the corner of Mariposa and N streets, one block from 
the court house, and commands a clear and charming 
view of all the city and its garden-like environment. 
It is an imposing structure of tasteful design, covering 
a surface of one hundred and fifty feet square and 
risingf four stories in heio;;ht, constructed altogether 
of brick, and containing upwards of two hundred 
rooms, wdth ample closets. Surmounting each corner 
stands a circular dome, devised for both ornament 
and use. The edifice is finished outside and inside 
in a pleasing and substantial style, according to the 
approved fashion in this class of architecture, no 
expense being spared to make it lasting and a thing 
of beauty as w^ell. One of the prime considerations 
in a home of invalids being ventilation, this feature 
was carefully provided for, every device being fur- 
nished to insure the entrance and exit of pure air at 
uniform temperature into and out of each apartment. 
Throughout the building is illuminated by incandescent 
electric burners. An elevator, run by hydraulic power, 
renders travel from floor to floor easy and comfortable. 
Every precaution is taken against fire, and capa- 
cious tanks kept filled w4th water for discharge at 
a moment's warning are placed in the four domes 
referred to. The spacious dining-room on the first 
floor has a capacity to accommodate tw^o hundred 
guests at one sitting. In the southwest corner of 
this floor is a large room fitted up as a gymnasium, 
and equipped with all the appliances required by the 

C. B.-III. 18 


most recent experience in this department of hygiene. 
The surgical department is on this floor, which is 
further taken up with parlors, waiting, dressing, and 
bath rooms. The second story comprises forty-four 
rooms for guests, and besides a large auditorium or 
assembly chamber, which is provided for the edifica- 
tion and amusement of the inmates of the home. 
The building is square, and its exterior is made all 
the more agreeable to the eye and more homelike by 
wide verandas running entirely around it at each 
story, and inviting patients into the open air and full 
sunlight. No expense or pains have been spared 
to make the building all that strength, beauty, or 
convenience requires. It involved a total outlay 
of about $100,000. This is another noble instance 
of Mr Church's generous spirit, and of his ability to 
anticipate such future needs as escape the attention 
of those who look only from one sunrise to anotlier. 
In a few years the Church sanitarium will be duly 
appreciated by all. 

Some pages back I referred to the thorough study 
made by Mr Church and the proficiency he acquired 
in the practice of farriery. I recur to it here as inci- 
dentally connected with his sanitive labors. As was 
his wont in all things, he went to the bottom in his 
researches and thinkino; with re2;ard to the diseases 
of the horse. At Columbus, Georg^ia, beings connected 
with stage stands, his opportunities for investigation 
were frequent and favorable. After he had made 
himself master of the knowledge which is essential 
to comprehend and treat the diseases of horses' feet, 
he thouj^ht it would be useful as well as interesting^ 
to take a step farther and study the physiology 
of the horse, with special reference to his food. This 
idea with him was the besjionino; of an evolution. 
In the fall of the year, owing to the effect of changing 
from old to new provender, he saw horses dj^ing at 
the rate of about one a day. He began to look for 
the remote cause of this mortality. For a time he 


tried his art of healing in vain, because his diagnosis 
was superficial, but his inquiries brought him finally 
to an inspection of tlie horse in his unartificial or 
natural state, that is, before he is subjected to the 
control and uses of man. In this condition he found 
him sound and proud of his strength — free from all 
tliose ailments that civilization entails upon him and 
his master alike. Yet the horse is adapted for most 
of the uses to which he is put, and should not get 
sick if fairly treated and required to do only rational 
service; but the docile creature often falls sick and 
dies without manifest cause. He came to the con- 
clusion that, except by reason of old age, a horse 
should not succumb under the ordinary work imposed 
upon him. This was perfectly clear; 3^et the magnifi- 
cent animal in the prime of vigor does fall in harness 
mortally stricken. After groping about in the dark, 
his insight more or less dulled by prevalent opinion 
and usage, it became clear to him that the cause of 
most illness among horses is traceable to what they 
are oiven to eat. This brouo-ht him into the full 
light of a principle that is often flippantly stated but 
seldom appreciated, that the criterion of health is 
conformity with nature and nature's laws. Blood is 
the horse's life; that which makes his blood must be 
what his organism requires as food, or else disorder 
and death will result. A careful consideration of this 
fundamental fact carried him into the study of proper 
equine diet, and taught him that superficial treatment, 
as in the case of a venereal sore, is ineffectual and 
dangerous; that the sore is only a symptom, and that 
the cause must be determined and eradicated. Men, 
as a rule, live in a miserable unwholesome way, and 
the dumb brutes they control being helpless to assert 
their nature fall under the same pitiable regime. And 
the more he studied the horse, the more he became 
impressed with the realization that this animal's phys- 
ical organization and that of man are substantially the 
same; that the sieneral law of health is identical in 


both. He had a family and he found it necessary to 
employ physicians. The more he saw of them, tlio 
less confidence he had in their good faith as practi- 
tioners and their integrity as students of medicine; 
like most horse-doctors, the majority of physicians 
fail to comprehend the underlying principles of their 
profession, distress their patients with drugs blindly 
administered and live for their fees. Observation of 
their mistakes increased the sympathy he naturally 
felt for suffering humanity. He would profit by his 
observation first at home in his own family; he would 
study the subject of dietetics, bringing his own body 
under the influence of rational eating, then, if he were 
able later in life, he would come to the rescue of 
others. He was not long in convincing himself by 
study and observation that nearly all the ills that 
flesh is heir to come from improper diet. As in every - 
thingf else which commanded his attention, in this 
also he was earnest, persistent, and enthusiastic. The 
panacea for which he looked he found in vegetarian- 
ism, the first known exponent of which doctrine was 
Pythagoras, one of the wisest of the Greeks. The 
flesh of animals he holds to be an abomination ; and I 
must confess that though I am a meat-eater and doubt- 
less shall continue to be carniverous as long as my 
ability to masticate holds good, I cannot listen to his 
argument in favor of a vegetable diet without feeling- 
faith in it and admiration for him. After hearing 
him plead the cause of man's health and of dumb 
brutes slauG^htered, meat can never ao-ain taste so 
sweet and harmless. Says he: "You can teach a 
horse to eat meat in certain forms, however diso^usting;' 
it may be to him at first; so you can teach him to 
drink whisky. The monkey can be taught to eat 
meat, but you must starve him first. The boy's first 
cigar is a frightful ordeal, but his taste is gradually 
perverted and he becomes a slave to pipe or cigar. 
A morbid appetite is created ; it must be appeased. 
To the extent made necessary by the artifice or 


rearrangement of the functions follows habit and the 
system sufters violence — a violence which nature 
resents sooner or later, in ways that are commonly 
observed, and, also, in w^ays so indirect that only the 
special student discovers them. The taste for meat 
is not natural to man ; it is acquired readily, how^ever, 
because of his environment in infancy, and, doubtless, 
because of appetite vitiated by heredity. Still enough 
of the creator's impress remains to preserve in him 
a craving for such food as has alwa^'s been regarded 
as pure, wholesome, and inoffensive. He is a complex 
organism ; his system made up of dependent organs. 
The earth yields organic food fit for the sustenance 
and health of each of these organs. He is of the dust 
of the earth, and from his original element his food 
should be obtained. Adam and Eve w^ere bidden to 
take and eat. Their diet, comprising the fruits of a 
bountiful soil, and contemplating the destruction of no 
living creature, Avas typical of ours. Then such diet, 
and no one will den}?- it, whether he believes in holy 
writ or not, meant the fullness of human health, which 
is synonomous with happiness ; and, if so, why not 
now ? It is as abhorrent to reason to take it for 
granted that man is naturally a meat-eater, as that 
he is naturally a tobacco-chewer. His teeth do not 
indicate that he is ; the teeth of carniverous animals 
are pointed and sharp ; man's teeth are made for 
grinding. The mouth of a meat-eating animal opens 
and shuts like the blades of scissors ; a man's teeth 
are moved upon one another vertically or sidewise. 
There is no flesh-eating animal that sweats through 
the pores of the skin, or the intestines of which 
resemble those of man ; all flesh-eating animals lap 
water with the tongue ; all such aninjals are built so 
as to catch and kill their prey, which they consume 
in toto, skin, hair, feet and all. Notice the cat with a 
mouse ; she beo;ins at its nose and finishes with the 
tail , so of the lion, panther, and tiger. And all 
those meat-cormorants emit a strong "oflensive odor; 


but this is their nature, not man's. They are supe- 
rior to him in this that they devour organic food 
which corresponds with their own organic structure. 
They require Httle brain nourisliment and their prey 
furnishes but httle; it gives them, however, in abund- 
ance, that which they most need, which is muscle. 
It is plain that the flesh-eating man feeds his muscle 
at the expense of his brain, in direct ratio as he imi- 
tates the beast of prey. What does such a habit lead 
to ? I may answer that question generally in one 
word, animalism. The intellect, which should be 
supreme in man, becomes subordinate to the grosser 
senses; reason is subjugated to appetite. The pas- 
sions are abnormally stimulated. Sexual develop- 
ment in children is premature and uncontrollable. It 
accounts for innumerable social evils ; it is at the 
bottom of divorces ; it is responsible for the skeleton 
in so many family closets ; it makes life feverish, 
unhappy, and brief. Yet man ought to live a great 
many years. It is only by degrading the master's 
workmanship that he is cut down at a time when his 
career should be hardly more than begun. Study the 
various nationalities, in regard to the food they eat, 
say the French and Scotch, and remark their char- 
acteristics of health and stability of mind and morals. 
In the olden times men lived to be 900 years old, but 
you say the bible prescribes a meat diet. It does not. 
If rightly read the verses from the second to the 
seventh of the ninth chapter of Genesis contain a 
positive prohibition of the carniverous habit. In 
order to understand this passage, it must be read with 
spiritual appreciation. Meat-eating shortened men's 
lives in four centuries to 200 years, and David in his 
time, that is 1,600 3^ears later, exclaimed: "Are not 
my da3'S three score years and ten ? " Now the average 
is scarcely thirty years. If we could improve our 
living as we have degraded it, continuously, we should 
have Methuselahs amonof us attain. But as a man 
eats so he is; this truth is as old as man's reason is, 


but it is ever fresh in its importance. Of course I do 
not exemplify as I ought what 1 know to be for the 
best in this respect, but I endeavor to bring my hfe 
into accord with my convictions. In my sanitarium, 
my newspaper, and my health journal, I trust that I 
shall do a great deal of good in inducintr the world, as 
far as I can reach it, to take a reasoning view of diet, 
which is life, and to practise it for its immediate bene- 
fits, and its improvement of the intellectual, moral, and 
social condition of the race. I verily believe that a 
radical change m diet would revolutionize the ^^orld. 
Perfect government, the philosophers sa\', is an ideal 
expression of man's intellectuality^ Xow, I hold that 
government is an organic whole, made up of as manv 
organisms as it has citizens, who participate in the 
control — each citizen a government in himself, possess- 
ing the power and exercising the functions of makinir, 
interpreting, and executing a personal law. The 
lungs are composed of innumerable particles, each of 
which is itself a little lung ; the liver is made up of 
little livers ; the kidnej-s of little kidneys. The 
government is the people. If members of this gov- 
ernment are in a natural state, that is, in harmony 
with themselves according to the laws of nature, thev 
will be in harmony with one another, they will foim 
a government of complete and positive unity. Per- 
haps the millenium will come before this Utopia can 
be realized, but every effort in this direction by means 
of self-control and individual ennoblement is certain 
progress towards a better civilization." 

But on the important topic of the physical state of 
which he has given so much thought and has written 
so much about it will be well to quote again from 
two different articles contributed by him to the Fresno 
Inquirer. This is from the first : 

" If a man's diet is composed of animal food then 
he becomes like the the animal he eats, and can never 
rise much above the character of the animal upon 
which he subsists. He may become a pugilist, but 


not an evangelist, poet, or philosopher. The minds 
that have swayed the world and upset kingdoms and 
established better thrones are those that have sub- 
sisted upon a better class of food, such as have had 
the greatest quantity of brain nourishment which can 
only be found in the cereals, grains, seeds, nuts, fruits, 
etc. All of these contain a concentration of the crude 
material of earth, which, if eaten as they should be 
eaten and as God organized them, in which state they 
are adapted to every organ of the human body, and 
in the right proportion, are calculated not only to 
promote a perfect physical body but a perfect brain 
as the seat of control in the body. If the fountain 
or brain from w^hich the mind proceeds is perfect then 
the mind will also be perfect ; for a sweet fountain 
^annot send forth bitter water, neither can a perfect 
t)rain send forth imperfect thoughts. The mind will 
'>e perfect according to the size and quality of the 
brain and will be in perfect harmony with nature. 
The brain will embrace as much knowledge as its 
size and capacity will admit. Mind or knowledge 
is great or small in proportion as the brain is great 
or small. If we improve the mind we must cleanse 
the fountain or brain from which the mind comes. 
A weak, unsupported brain will produce a weak mind. 

"Our bodies are made up of fourteen distinct prop- 
erties, and each organ of the body requires its distinct- 
ive property in the food we eat. Most of the cereals 
have the fourteen properties which make up the vari- 
ous organs of the body. 

" You now ask what to eat, and how? First, get 
a normal ap[)etite and then select from nature's labora- 
tory whatever the appetite craves, but eat it just as 
God organized ifc. You can grind and pulverize it 
without bolting the life out of it, and then cook it to 
suit the palate. Select from nature's storehouse to 
suit your taste ; if you think you are a carniverous 
animal then eat your meat as other carniverous ani- 
mals do — head, hide, hair, hoofs, horns, bones, brains. 


and all. Then 3^ou have something in your stomach 
to feed not only your muscles but the brain, bones, 
hair, teeth, toes, and finger-nails — something to nourish 
every organ in your body ; and there is no reason why 
you should not be as fat and sleek and nice as any 
other carnivorous animal. But if you should decide 
that you are a herbivorous animal, then select your 
food from cereals, grains, fruits, nuts, berries, etc., and 
before ten years shall pass away it will bring your 
poor old. rickety body with all its sickly organs into 
harmony with the physical laws of your nature and 
a vigorous mind will assume its rightful sovereignty 
on the throne of reason." 

And again, even at the risk of repetition, in the 
cause of emphasis, I quote from the same publication: 

" Food is one of the elements of the materia medica 
that should not be considered second to any ; as a 
vast number of chronic diseases are wholy incurable, 
no matter how skillfully all other remedies may be 
applied without proper nutritives the patient dies. 
We trust that the time is not far distant wlien not 
onl}' the people, but the medical faculty generally, 
will make the subject of diet and the proper method 
of cooking their principal study. It ouglit to be 
taught iu all of our schools of learning, for there is 
more of health and happiness or disease and misery 
cormected with our method of cooking and eating 
than people imagine. 

"Human beings will never be in any exalted sense 
either good, happy, or healthy until they obtain that 
harmonious and healthful operation of all the func- 
tions of body and mind that constitute peace within. 
Such a condition can never be realized until a thorough 
and radical reform is brought about in the selection 
of food and the methods of cooking. It seems to 
me that there is something particularly elevating and 
refining in the contemplation of fruits and flowers, and 
ill the cultivation of grains, roots, nuts, and cereals 
of all kinds for the purpose of drawing from the 


bosom of mother earth a pure and healthy sustenance. 
We must be excused for our opinion that the pictures 
of animals displayed in a common cook-book, co veered 
over with lines and figures denoting the different parts 
of the carcass from which to choose the more or less 
precious morsel, have a brutalizing and degrading as 
well as sensualizing effect on humanity. Especially 
is this so on the easily impressed minds of the young. 
They should be led away from scenes and thoughts 
of blood and slaughter to subjects of botany, natural 
history, agriculture, horticulture, and the like. We 
trust that the time is not far distant when the foun- 
dation for a better development of the human race 
will be established, and that especially the young will 
be taught what they should eat and how it should 
be cooked as well as how they should eat it. The 
very trade of butchering and slaughtering animals 
for food has a tendency to brutalize the minds of 
those who are engaged in it. And certainly the cook- 
ing of a pig and placing it on the table whole, as is 
often done, has a demoralizing effect not only on the 
cook but most assuredly on those who take it into 
their stomachs. The young should be taught that 
the shedding of blood is a terrible thing, and there 
ought to be something very revolting about the idea 
of feasting on the flesh and blood of any portion of 
the animal creation. Think of Adam, as pure as the 
angels, dyeing his hands in the life-blood of creatures 
to which his maker had given the breath of life ! 
Think of the redeemed coming^ to a millennial feast 
to destroy life, and eat the flesh of animals that held 
life as dear as they themselves held theirs." 

There is another instance of Mr Church's activity 
which serves to distinguish him in his manner of 
thought and action. As intimated elsewhere, he does 
nothing by halves. The predominant idea of his life 
has been the reclamation of arid land by irrigation. 
He solved the problem by a struggle, in the first 
instance against the forces of brutish men and nature ; 


now the fight, goes on in the rcahn of intellect in the 
courts, in which his elibrts are aimed to thoroui^hly 
fix and broaden the fruits of his previous labor. 
Much of this kind of work remains to be done. 

Some time ago he purchased the Fresno Inquirer, 
the controlling idea in which is to have a fit medium 
through which to keep constantly before the public 
the history, present status, and possibilities of irriga- 
tion, so that nothing of what has already been learned 
will be lost, but that the advantages acquired may 
be rendered more and more beneficial for all time to 
come. But he is a man of too much discretion and 
adaptability to try to maintain a paper on one idea 
exclusively, however valuable that idea may be, in a 
community of many different avocations and interests. 
Already he has shown by his management that he 
understands men and affairs well enough to know how 
to make a paper generally acceptable, and hence all 
the more useful in the promotion of the original and 
specific design in view. By great painstaking and 
discrimination in the selection of topics, and a rii>id 
scrutiny of all matter before it is accepted for publi- 
cation, the Inquirer manages to discuss in good form 
all that men think or do that is of value and interest 
to the public. In other words, his paper, which may 
be considered the organ of irrigation in the state, is a 
clean journal; nothing is admitted into it that could 
offend the sensibilities of a pure-mhided woman or 
child, while at the same time ingenuity is exercised 
in presenting solid food in such a palatable way as to 
attract and take hold upon the mind of the reader, 
famishing at once entertainment and instruction. In 
this, as in all his other undertakings, Mr Church 
addresses himself to the highest and best principles 
of human nature, feeling sure that a newspaper kept 
up to this wholesome standard will grow in power and 
influence, and must have a good effect as a factor in 
helping forward the civilization of the coast. He 
contributes with his own pen sound articles on various 


moral and economic questions, especially such as those 
already noted. His style is rugged, vigorous, and 
clear. But from specimens given, the reader may 
judge best for himself. All people in his community 
and elsewhere will be pleased if the Inquirer meets 
with that success to which it is entitled, both as an 
educator at home and abroad, and as a promoter of 
the material growth and wealth of Fresno county and 
the state of California. It is gratifying to know that 
under the new management the paper is already com- 
mended itself to popular support, and increased in 
patronage and circulation. 

Mr CJmrch was reared by Christian parents and in 
the Christian church. He united with the baptists, and 
remained with them two or three years, then becoming 
skeptical remained in that state, struggling to deter- 
mine what are really the principles of Christianity, 
and in 1873 became a member of the church of the 
seventh-day adventists, the doctrine of which he 
believes to be the true bible doctrine. Since that 
time he has been a zealous and consistent advocate 
of this faith. He is a man of intense nature, never 
parleying with evil, or hesitating to do battle for what 
he believes to be ric;ht. 

I find in him a loyalty to conscience such as is too 
rare not to be noted; a sense of justice and honor 
most refined, and yet thoroughly practical. This 
virtue in him is not negative, confined to faith and 
profession, but is positive, manifesting itself in per- 
formance at whatever sacrifice to purse or spirit. I 
quote two instances in point, which, on account of 
their extraordinary nature, I have taken the pains to 
look into and verify, not that they are not in accord 
with tlie man's character and disposition as otherwise 
exemplified, but because, being so striking an exce])- 
tion to the ordinary rule of conduct, they should not 
be mentioned unless with assurance. From E. Jacobs, 
already mentioned, a merchant at Centreville, lie 
boufxht <joods to the amount of several hundred dol- 


lars. As an offset, and considerably more, he gave 
Jacobs the privilege of diverting water from his ditch 
to run a flour-mill, also a large pile of lumber to build 
a bridge across a stream to the mill, the agreement 
being that due credit should be given for these items 
at a fair valuation. Both men, with this understand- 
ing, let their claims against each go to profit and loss. 
But some four or five years after the transaction, 
Jacobs having sold out to Louis Einstein of Fresn(^, 
the latter revived the old account and demanded pa}'- 
ment. Church tried to explain the matter, but Einstein, 
assuming his claim to be just, would not listen, 
became angry and brought suit; but as collection was 
barred by the statute of limitation, the case went 
against him. For many 3' ears after this the litigants 
passed and repassed on the streets nearly every day 
without recognizing each other. At last, however, 
Church called on Einstein and said : " I have come 
to talk with you — to finish a conversation that I began 
with you fifteen j^ears ago. Will you hear me out? 
We used to be friendly, and I want to make ever}"- 
thing right." ''All right," answered Einstein. Then 
followed a full explanation on the part of Church, 
who concluded by saying: ''I was wrong, and I 
wanted to tell you so before. I should not have 
allowed my lawyers to coerce me into pleadino- the 
statute of limitation after I had given you to under- 
stand that this plea should not be set up. I insist 
that you make out 3'our bill with interest." A reason- 
able bill was presented and paid, and the two men 
have been perfect friends ever since. 

Before Mr Church left Napa he had a small farm 
regarding the title to which there was some dispute ; 
but, according to the best legal advice he could obtain, 
the counterclaim to the property was fraudulent and 
would not hold in law. He sold the farm, and about 
a year afterward proceedings were instituted against 
the purchaser, who was ousted, his title being declared 
insufficient and void, Mr Church had moved away 


and had no knowledge of these facts, but, twenty 
3-ears after making the sale he happened to be in 
Oakland one day, when the man to whom he had sold 
the farm, P. Engelbretson, came up to him, made 
himself known and told the story of his troubles — 
how he had lost his property and had been strug- 
gling ever since to make a liv^elihood. Mr Church, 
after finding by investigation that the man's state- 
ment was correct, wrote to him from Fresno that if 
he would come there he would refund him the money 
paid for the farm, $600, with liberal interest up to 
date from the time he had paid it ; or else he would 
give him twenty acres of land, advising him, however, 
to accept the latter proposition, which he did. But 
he was without a dollar and could not come. Mr 
Church paid his fare down and showed him the land, 
with which he was well pleased ; furnished him with 
a wagon and team, dug a well for him, put in a 
pump, gave fruit-trees and seeds, built him a house 
and barn and furnished him means for necessaries 
until he could get a start — in a word, provided him 
with a complete equipment with which he began a 
successful and happy career as a farmer with a deed to 
land worth fully $3,000. Engelbretson was delighted 
with the unexpected and magnanimous treatment 
he received ; so much so that he was not willing 
that the knowledu-e of such a noble deed should be 
restricted to himself, and in a card in the local press 
of Fresno he published the facts of this extraordinary 
case as I have stated them. And so he settles all 
his accounts while on earth, not waiting: to have them 
cancelled hereafter, as some good men do. 

The last instalment, $100,000, was due to him on 
the sale of his canal, in June 1889. When it was 
proffered according to written agreement, he declined 
to receive it, as it was not his intention to accept this 
money until the last cloud upon the company's rights 
and privileges had been removed, so that they could 
be absolutely certain of being undisturbed in the 


property purchased from him. This had been his 
verbal assurance and it should be verified. The 
shadows all passed away in time, and the money was 
paid with entire satisfaction to all concerned. 

Mr Church has thought a great deal on the prob- 
lem of the life to come as well as of the present 
life of man. Concentrating every energy upon this 
study, as upon all else that engages liis attention, 
he has mastered the theology of the bible and of 
human sense, to the extent that it is susceptible of 
comprehension by the finite mind. He is one of 
those original independent minds which not only think 
for themselves but for great masses of mankind ; one 
of that class of leading and governing spirits which 
formulate doctrines and establish new denominations in 
religion, new schools in pliilosophy and new institu- 
tions for improvement in the practical things of life. 
But he is not a revolutionist, nor is he egotistical or 
puffed up ; hence he does not go contrary to accepted 
usage or thought unless it be irreconcilable wdth reve- 
lation and logic. In other words he never diflfers 
from others for the sake of differing^. This is his 
disposition and he believes the cause of truth is to 
be subserved by avoiding needless antagonisms and 
that by sympathetic consideration of others, and by 
yielding to them as far as we can do so consistently, 
we are more able to bring them to our way of think- 
ing. His theory is not to drive but to lead. As 
has been shown already he is not a man to be idle ; 
his thoughts he puts into action. His whole life, 
relioious and industrial, has been one of thouo^ht fol- 
lowed directly by action — and all in the line of good- 
will and good service to others. In the latter part 
of 1889, having for so many years studiously and 
earnestlv thouoht, written, and conversed on the vital 
question of religion, he wrought out in his mind wliat 
ma}' be described as the only plan of salvation. This 
exalted theme he only is able to comprehend in its 
essence who has acquired an insight into the bible, 


which is intuitional — who sees with spiritual eyes into 
the mysteries of the holy writ. The scholar, let 
him be ever so bright and intellectual, who studies 
revealed religion as a matter of mere history, or 
strives to interpret the text literally, is as one who 
having eyes sees not, and having ears hears not. He, 
too, must be born again. Mr Church having explored 
all the dark places of spiritualism and sounded all 
the depths of scepticism and having returned with 
ardent love to divine truth — that is, having studied 
tliO hfe now and the life to come with a strength, 
penetration, and patience that few possess, felt the 
need of presenting the all important matter so that 
it w^ould reach the greatest possible number and 
appeal to them with the greatest possible force, reach- 
in<>' the mind throuo^h the eye. Therefore he devised 
a chart w^hich I may say is the sum total of the bible 
in epitome. This is saying a great deal, but not too 
much ; it abounds in texts every one of which is alive. 
In fact it illustrates God's whole will as communi- 
cated to man, and points every moral by a lesson 
from experience. 

The chart is a series of speaking pictures, showing 
in a way at once philosophical, theological, and prac- 
tical man's entrance upon and his exit from this tem- 
poral stage, which, however, is but a slight part of 
his being, as is made manifest in the plan. It is a 
most original and must be an extremely effective 
instrumentalit}^ in the teaching of religion for various 
evident reasons ; first of all it is true, and as such 
commends itself to all. Even if the bible be thrown 
out of consideration altoo-ether there is enoutrh left 
of the chart to interest and help every thinking per- 
son who prizes his health or who realizes that good 
morals and pure Christianity were taught together by 
the same great teacher. It shows the value of self- 
control and the contemplation of a noble standard as 
against yielding to lusts which not only pollute the 
soul but destroy the body as well. It is not sectarian, 


it is universal in its words and pictures of encourage- 
ment and warning, and hence wide enough and deep 
enough in vital lessons to reach the minds and hearts 
of men in the highest as well as the lowest states of 
society; and there is no creed or church but will be 
helped forward by the wholesome truth in the agree- 
able manner in which the chart presents it. It fills 
the mind of the most learned and technical, while it 
captivates and enlightens illiterate men and women, 
and picture-loving boys and girls. 

The chart, three feet long by two and one-half feet 
wide, is divided into four parts : The first, at the 
bottom of the study, is the division in w^hich man 
appears in a state of nature. His history begins 
here with his infancy, showing his physical condition 
at birth. He is surrounded by all manner of evil. 
His father, a drunkard, ofiering liquor to his mother, 
who accepts and drinks it ; other vices that hasten 
death are graphically portrayed near at hand. Thus 
is the child "conceived in sin and brought forth in 
iniquity." This being travels on the broad road to 
destruction until he is brought to a realization of his 
sin and wretchedness, and then he is overwhelmed 
with the hopelessness of his life and his total inability 
to help himself. But the cross looms up before him. 
His only recourse is to accept the promises offered to 
him in the bible — the only medium of salvation being 
repentance and remission of sins. Remission can be 
secured only by confession and reparation. The least 
sin unconfessed will keep a man out of the kingdom 
of grace, which is the second division of the chart. 
"Behold the Lord's hand is not shortened, that it 
cannot save ; neither is his ear heavy, that it cannot 
hear ; but your iniquities have separated between you 
and your God, and your sins have hid his face from 
you, that he will not hear." This is the condition of 
the natural man. What then must he do? Christ's 
last words to his apostles were: "Preach repentance 
and remission." This means first conviction of sin, 

C. B.— III. 19 


then conversion or a turning around, then repentance, 
then confession, then complete reparation for all sins 
committed from years of accountability to the present 
time, and then baptism. In contradistinction from 
the usually accepted interpretation of scripture on 
this point, Mr Church places the completion of all 
these processes or measures of discipline occurring in 
the order named as anterior to the practice of Christi- 
anity, all of which work is performed in the embryo 
state, before the child of God is born, and baptism is 
what severs the embrogenic cord and places the new- 
born babe in the kingdom of grace. He holds that 
in all these reformatory states the child cannot talk 
to the father nor the father to the child, as is errone- 
ously taught, for the reason just given, that father 
and son, until baptism, have no relations whatever, and 
do not know each other any more than the father and 
child know each other before the actual birth of the 
fe^rmer. Spiritual education begins only when the 
child has been born again, that is, the embryo man 
starts out in life poisoned- by inherited and inevitable 
sin. He matures in body and vice simultaneously. 
This is his physical and natural growth. The older 
he becomes and the more hardened, the more difficult 
it is for him to become as a little child again. This 
is the struggle on which the remainder of his present 
life depends and an immeasurable future. Having 
fought the good fight, however, by the help of the 
redeemer, this ally will never desert him, and his 
course must ever be onward and upward. There are 
two individualities in one, the noble and the base, the 
spiritual and the bodily. By reason of original sin, 
animality is the controlling force until after redemp- 
tion : intellectuality reasons correctly, determines 
wisely; but the dominion of lust is above all. We 
hear it said : " The flesh is weak." Rather the oppo- 
site of this is the truth ; for the body is too often 
master, and the mind the slave. It is not that we 
choose the evil way deliberately, for every son of 


Adam knows that the wages of sin is death. Man's 

life is double, comprising his present temporal exist- 
ence and his future endless beingr • the human on^an- 
ism is dual and created for perfection in each of 
these states. It is not reasonable, as most religious 
teachers claim, that the beginning and end of earthly- 
existence is to prepare for an endless future. True, 
man's supreme duty is to so prepare himself: this is 
the highest earthly function. But his temporal per- 
fection and consequent temporal happiness is likewise 
a supreme consideration ; nor does proper enjoymient 
here below interfere with preparation for eternity. 
This earthly tabernacle is the shrine of the immortal 
soul : its lights should therefore be kept bright and 
shining not only against the coming of the bride- 
groom but for itself; it is fashioned for joy and 
virtue. This "harp of a thousand strings," with its 
natural aspirations, its normal demands for fruition, 
keeps wonderfully in tune considering the neglect 
to which it is subjected. The fleshly mind is the 
cause and disease is the result of man's demoral- 
ization. Otherwise he would be seen as the express 
image of the creator. But there is a never-endin«" 
struggle between the intellectual and carnal, and the 
latter conquers always in the end, until there is a new 
birth, with which comes purity and strength. How- 
ever valiant and stout we may" be by fits and starts, 
we must suffer defeat ultimately in every engagement 
so long as we do not look beyond ourselves for suc- 
cor. But, the divine help, according to promise, is 
abundant and never failing, from the moment that the 
supplicant, having prostrated himself at tlie foot of 
the cross pleads " Lord have mercy on me a miser- 
able sinner," turns squarely around, obtains remis- 
sion of his sins, makes actual reparation for the wronos 
he has done to his fellow-men and goes forward and 
upward on the straight and narrow road with faith 
as a lamp to his feet. The baptized child, thus 
made spiritual, fulls into Christ's arms as the phys- 


ical child into its mother's arms. In this kingdom 
the child is filled with love, and begins, with Christ 
as teacher and leader, an upward course. He adds 
to faith, first virtue, then knowledge, then temper- 
ance, then patience, then godliness, then brotherly 
kindness, and last charity, which is the bond of perfect- 
ness. On this inclined ladder of virtues, leading up 
to the crown of all in charity, the convert has now 
arrived at perfection of body, soul and spirit, and can 
do those things that Christ did, and, according to his 
own word, ''greater things than these shall ye do." 
We have hira arrived now in the kingdom of holi- 
ness. Here are the truths of the bible actually exem- 
plified in the lives and characters of believers who 
have grown into spiritual harmony with the master. 
This is the region of pure Christianity, in which the 
doing of good and the giving of glory to the father 
of all characterize act and thoug^ht. In the morn in cr 
of the resurrection the redeemed will receive a crown 
of life and a robe of righteousness and be transported 
to the kingdom of glory {the division next above the 
holiness kingdom), so shall they ever be with the 
Lord, passing up to his presence through a door which 
it is promised shall ever remain wide open to admit 
those who have conquered the lust, the flesh, and 
the devil. And thus will all the redeemed become 
his subjects, and the seat of his kingdom eventually 
be this earth, after it has passed through a process of 
cleansing by fire. *' Behold the day cometh that shall 
burn as an oven, and all the proud, yea all that do 
wickedly, shall be stubble, and the day that cometh 
shall burn them up, saith the Lord of hosts; that it 
shall leave them neither root nor branch." *'But 
unto you that fear my name shall the sun of righteous- 
ness arise with healing in his wrings, and ye shall go 
forth and grow up as calves of the stall." The king- 
dom of glory or the most holy place is that which 
is called in Revelation the New Jerusalem or the City 
of God, and referred to by Christ as follows : "In my 


father's house there are many mansions ; if it were 
not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a 
place for you , and if I go and prepare a place for 
you, I will come again and receive you unto myself, 
that where I am ye shall be there also." The central 
fio'ure as seen on the chart in this kingfdom is the 
tree of life, the leaves of which were for the healing 
of the nations. Under the tree flows the river of life, 
a crystal stream of pure water proceeding from the 
throne of God, the tree and the river representing 
the blood and the body of Christ. 

Thus is given only a meager idea of the contents, 
the character or the form of the remarkable devise of 
Mr Church, which he proposes to produce in such 
form as to make it as widely useful as possible. He 
has copyrighted it, and those who are curious to read 
and study it may write to him at Fresno, California, 
and obtain the chart with an excellent key, presenting 
its contents in brief It serves to confirm what the 
facts of Mr Church's life have already shown, that 
his love for his fellow-men is ever prompting him to 
crii^inal and difficult thino-s — such thino-g as but for 
him would not be done, might never be thought of — 
and that his ingenuity is equal to all the extraordinary 
demands which he makes upon it. And what is 
peculiar in him is that he is restless from the moment 
a useful suggestion comes to him until he has put it 
in form to do the widest and best service for the 
present and the future welfare of his neighbors. 

Physically Mr Church is not a man of large stat- 
ure. His height is five feet eight inches, but he is 
slight in frame and weighs only 145 pounds. He has 
not an ounce of superfluous flesh on his bones. His 
frame shows negation of self You see in it the 
material enginery and index of highly wrought intel- 
lectuality and zealous temper. As is ordinarily the 
case with men who think much, he stoops slighth^ at 
the shoulders. Dark gray eyes, deep set under heavy 
brows are the speaking feature of his face, indicating 


plainly his tremendous will and tenacity. His hair 
and beard, originally dark brown, are now gray. His 
complexion is swarthy, bronzed by exposure to the 
elements. His forehead is square and broad; his 
mouth emphasizes the inflexible determination ex- 
pressed in his eyes. In conversation he is always 
earnest; his clear, fervid speech would of itself indi- 
vidualize the man. He never jokes ; his long struggle 
ag:ainst vicious men, the tension of mind and muscle-- 
almost a fixed habit — render him a little severe in 
manner, sarcastic, and distrustful of recent acquaint- 
ances. But he is a shrewd judge of men, and no one 
has a higher ret^ard for true manhood than he. In 
the sense in which the term is ordinarily used he is 
not an educated man — that is, not technically so. Yet 
he is educated — a graduate among men from the only 
school in which real life is learned ; one of that class 
of men who, assimilating by observation, study, and 
friction — by the genius of self-help — create and. con- 
trol by the force of nature in them; who get what 
information they need in their business from books, 
but who, according to Bacon, possess a wisdom that 
is outside of and above books. He has been one of 
the most liberal patrons of all charitable and civilizing 

When he believes, he believes positively ; when 
he works, he does so with every energy focused upon 
the thing to be done. Hence, if the man and his 
methods be understood, no one will marvel at the 
magnitude of his achievements. He possesses at once 
the genius of judgment and the genius of will, which, 
when combined, make men of action — men of crea- 
tion, state-builders, organizers, controllers — men who 
give tone and impetus to their community ; whose 
impress upon their times is so deep that it can never be 
effaced. The history of their times cannot be appre- 
ciated without a full knowledge of them. The pres- 
ent value of what he has done and encouraged others 
to do is apparent ; the future utility of his labors can 


only be measured by the growth of the state among 
the builders of which he has stood out so conspicu- 
ously and so wholesomely. His work at the founda- 
tion is as roots of the industrial tree which go down 
deep and strong into the earth — a fruitful force for 
all time. 



The Three Epochs op California Agriculture — The Industry under 
Mission Rule — Gold-diggers as Farmers — Improvement of Breeds 
— The Dairy — Transition from Grazing to Grain — Honey — 
Exhaustion of Soil — Machinery — Climate and Conditions — Canals 
and Ditches — Water Rights — Rainfalls — Cotton — Silk — Tobacco 
— Sugar— Tea— Transition from Grain to Fruit— The Age of Hor- 
ticulture, OF the Orange, the Olive, and the Vine. 

To agriculture in Caliiornia may be assigned suc- 
cessive periods, those of grass, grain, and fruit. The 
last two were under the auspices of the Anglo-Saxon 
race, and the first during the reign of the Hispano- 
Aniericans, while prior to either the aborigines enjoyed 
iti a measure the natural yield of all the products. A 
too indulgent climate failed to stimulate the energy 
of its children, and finding themselves sufficiently pro- 
vided with seeds, roots, and berries, they rested con- 
tent. Even the villagers along the Santa Barbara 
channel showed no disposition to till the fertile soil, 
notwithstanding the commendable example of the 
Rio Colorado cave-dwellers. 

Agriculture was, therefore, not introduced until 
the entry of the Spaniards, under the auspices of 
missionaries, and less for self-support at first than as 
a means of attracting neophytes. Attention was pri- 
marily directed to maize, as the staple cereal of Mex- 
ico, but the greater adaptibility of the soil for wheat 
gave this the leading place, so that it constituted more 
than half of the total crop. In 1821 the missions 
produced 180,000 bushels of grain; the average yield, 
however, fell below 100,000 bushels. Vegetables 



were also raised, chiefly leguminous, and orchards 
sprang up at each mission, particularly of pears and 
semi-tropic fruits, oranges, figs, and olives. Most of 
these were introduced from Lower California during 
the first few years of mission rule, and included the 
two principal vine stocks, the sweet Los Angeles and 
the lighter Sonoma grape, the former predominating 
throughout the state until recent times. The fruit 
was of inferior quality, however, owing to the prevail- 
inof inditference and negrlect of the Mexicans, whose 
rude culture was marked also by the rarity of orna- 
mental gardens and shade trees. 

The flattering success attending the friars in their 
eflTorts to raise grain and fruits showed the govern- 
ment the desirability of colonization, and San Jose 
was founded in 1777, the first of a series of pueblos 
established by Mexican immigrants. Here irrigation 
was applied on a more extended scale, which encour- 
aged the padres to more imposing works, with long 
and massive aqueducts and dams. But Mexicans are 
poor material for founding and developing intelligent 
and progressive commonwealths. It was difficult to 
persuade the indolent race to remove to so distant a 
home in the first place, and those who did come were 
checked in their aspirations by being cut off" from for- 
eign markets, and restricted within the narrow com- 
mercial limits of the Spanish colonies. Added to this 
was the feeling of degradation connected with work, 
which was delegated to a low race of Indians, and as 
a result the little labor required was left to the neo- 
phytes, or to the wild natives, hired or impressed, 
through whose mismanagement the crops sometimes 
amounted to but little as compared with what might 
have been accomplished. The crudest methods con- 
tinued in use. Ploughs were often nothing more than 
crooked sticks ; threshing was performed by the feet 
of mares, and wagons consisted of rude frames rolled 
upon disks of wood. The government took little 
pains to develop industries or encourage improvements. 


The first attempt at agriculture on the part of for- 
eigners was made by the Russians above San Fran- 
cisco, but in a manner so desultory as to prove of 
little value. Their establishment finally passed into 
the hands of Captain Sutter, who in the forties car- 
ried on in the valley of the Sacramento the largest 
farming operations in the province. His presence 
and enterprise encouraged Americans to open a num- 
ber of ranchos above him on the river and around the 
bay, chiefly for cattle, but also with a proportion of 
grain-fields and orchards. 

Then came the gold excitement, with its attendant 
influx of people. Flour and meat were imported in 
abundance, but vegetables were extremely scarce, 
although indispensable to the preservation of health 
among miners confined mainly to a salt meat diet. 
This gave an impulse to gardening, followed by the 
planting of barley, which was well suited to the dry 
and sandy soil. As the placer mines declined, a dig- 
ger now and then abandoned the pick for the hoe and 
plough, and by 1854 the farmers succeeded in render- 
ing California independent as to staple provisions, 
creating thereby a revolution which entailed on com- 
merce a series of disasters. 

Soon afterward it was discovered that the large 
interior valleys, hitherto considered unfit for agricul- 
ture, were particularly well adapted for wheat, owing 
to the productiveness of the soil and the ease with 
which it could be cultivated. Thus within a few 
years the state attained a high rank among the wheat- 
producing countries of the world. The frequency of 
droughts, with a consequent failure of crops, here 
gave to agriculture a speculative character, but such 
drawbacks proved no permanent hindrance. 

To stock-raising, however, the excessive drought 
of 1862-4 proved a severe blow. The pastoral indus- 
tries of entire counties in the south were almost swept 
away, to be succeeded by compulsory tillage and sub- 
division of ranges, With the growing strength of 


the farmers, no-fence laws were enacted, which still 
further reduced cattle-farming to a subordinate posi- 
tion, with greater attention to sheep and to superior 
breeds of animals, for which it would pay to raise hay, 
grain, and alfalfa. The neglect so far in cultivating 
pastures has been due not alone to the wide range 
open for stock, but to the mildness of the winters, 
which renders reserve fodder needless, and to the dry- 
ness of the summer, which kills the favorite grasses. 
Lucerne, or alfalfa, with its deep roots, thrives in 
many parts without irrigation. Bunch grass is proof 
ao^ainst drougrht, and the wild oat, which forms the 
most widespread and striking pasture in the state, 
yields on an average a ton to the acre. 

The unrestrained freedom allowed to livestock in 
colonial days gave rise to numerous herds of wild 
cattle and horses in the interior valleys, and also to a 
general deterioration in quality and a reduction in 
weight. These scrub cattle, as they were termed, 
were noted for their long, thin legs and slender, 
spreading horns on high-raised heads ; the sheep for 
their short, coarse wool. This condition was rapidly 
changed by the Americans, who crossed the breed 
with their heavier and stronger stock. 

The high prices that prevailed during the first 
decade of mining stimulated the industry to such an 
extent that the cattle alone numbered over 2,000,000 
head before the droui^hts of 1862-4. The mistrust 
which followed was strengthened by the declme m 
mining, and the growing interest in and value of land 
for the cereals. Those w^ho continued stock-raising 
adopted more careful methods, apportioning cattle to 
the pastures, partly in response to the new fence laws, 
and found compensation in the larger and finer yield 
of beef and milk, and in diminished losses and expenses. 
The coarse Spanish stock has almost disappeared, and 
farmers in general encourage the improvement by 
keeping a few head of superior breed as a useful and 
profitable adjunct to their business. 


A prominent branch in this connection is dairying, 
which did not exist before American times, and is 
chiefly confined to the coast pastures, moistened by 
the ocean winds. The census of 1880 reports 210,0U0 
milch cows, with a yield of 14,000,000 pounds of but- 
ter and one-fifth as much of cheese. The business is 
naturally influenced by the large towns. Thus, San 
Francisco county leads in milk production; Marin 
county stands at the head with butter, and is preem- 
inently a dairy region, followed by Sacramento county, 
favored by its rich swamp lands. Santa Clara ranks 
first for cheese, and several counties northward derive 
their principal revenue from dairy farming. 

The best eastern and European varieties are sought 
for breeding purposes, and of the 800,000 head of 
cattle remaini]ig in 1880 — only thirty-three per cent 
of the number two decades before — nearly one-third 
were pure American stock, fully one-half were nearly 
so, and less than four per cent were Mexican. 

One effect of the great drought was to call atten- 
tion to sheep-farming, for which the country is excep- 
tionally well suited. Sheep are adapted to the 
mountain pastures, and the mild climate is so favor- 
able to their growth that their development here in 
two years is equal to that of three years in the east- 
ern states. Their natural increase, little obstructed 
by disease, is fully eighty per cent, and their yield of 
wool averaged in 1880 over seven pounds from two 
clippings, as against four pounds for the United States. 
This sli owing is largely due to tlie introduction by 
Americans of Spanish merhios, which have almost 
wholly displaced the low-grade Spanish-Mexican 
stock, and assisted to increase the flocks to about 
6,000,000, or nearly sixfold within two decades. For 
the decade ending with 1890 the average wool pro- 
duct was about 35,000,000 pounds, the largest clip 
being in 1876, when it was 56,000,000 pounds. 

The expectations formed at one time as to the 
profits to be made by raising Angora and Cashmere 


goats have not been realized. Nevertheless, such 
herds are numerous. The keeping of swine is 
restricted by dry pastures and fence laws, and the 
warm climate is an obstacle to packing ; but the tules 
present favorable localities along the San Joaquin and 
Sacramento, and irrigation is opening wider fields. 

The Spanish horse introduced from Mexico is of 
inferior breed, small in size, but of great endurance. 
The larger, finer, and more tractable American stock, 
though less healthy, now predominates, as better fitted 
for carriage, cart, and plough, and a considerable pro- 
portion of the 300,000 head now in California consists 
of well-bred animals, for there is a general predilection 
for showy steeds among farmers and rich country 
residents. The California racehorse has of late years 
gained for the state a high reputation as a favorable 
breeding-ground for swift and enduring animals. 

Working oxen are condemned as too slow in this 
progressive land, and the mule is regarded with little 
favor ; but his value is nevertheless recognized for 
rough and heavy work, especially in pack-trains. 

The honey-bee did not exist here until it was intro- 
duced from the eastern states in 1852 by W. A. 
Buckley. It now flourishes along the southern 
streams, and many a hive produces 200 pounds of 
honey in a season. For 1890 the total product of 
the state was 6,000,000 to 7,000,000 pounds. 

The gambling spirit of the flush times, the ready 
acquisition of wealth, and the high prices of goods 
and labor, gave a speculative stamp to farming, with 
operations on a large scale and with superficial meth- 
ods, as the use of gang-ploughs for scratching the 
surface, and the frequent recourse to ready yet 
exhausting volunteer crops. They also stimulated to 
experiments and improvements, which have led to 
many admirable results, and as the invention of labor- 
saving implements, in multiform gang-ploughs, and 
combined headers and harvesters, which are here 


more widely adopted than elsewhere ; the low prun- 
ino- and other improvements in vineyards and orchards; 
the vast irrigation systems, and the breeding of fine 
horses and sheep. Few countries possess so varied a 
cultivation and a farming community of higher gen- 
eral intelligence and enterprise. 

Favored by lightness of soil and the absence of 
sod, stones, and shrubs, ploughing in the valleys can 
be performed for as little as forty cents per acre, the 
gang-ploughs cutting from four to eight inches deep 
and covering from four to a dozen acres daily. On 
a small farm with heavy soil the expense would be 
about sixfold. The effect of such favorable condi- 
tions has been to render farmers only the more care- 
loss ; exhausting the soil, without rest, rotation, or 
fertilization, and neglecting all deep ploughing. Some 
attach sower and harrow to the plough and complete 
the work in one operation. Steam-ploughs have not 
found favor in California. 

The scarcity of rain during summer and autumn 
leaves harvesters undisturbed. Grain and many root 
and fruit crops may be left untouched for weeks after 
maturity without loss, thus giving the farmer ample 
time for reaping. Grain may be collected in stacks 
to await the thresher, or the thresher may be fed at 
the time by the header, which, sweeping over from 
twenty to sixty acres in a day, delivers the grain to 
tlie wagons. Of late has been introduced a combined 
header and thresher, which delivers the grain in 
sacks along its path, ready for the granary. The 
grain does not require curing or drying. Thus may 
be saved the expense of binding, stacking, and storing, 
together with much costly labor, indispensable else- 
where. Several California inventions have reduced 
the cost of harvesting fully fifty per cent. With the 
aid of such machinery and conditions, one man is able 
in this state to attend to nearly ten times as many 
acres as the averao^e for the United States, and 
twenty times the average in England, The frequency 


of volunteer crops is one favorable feature ; another 
is the ready and inexpensive system of manuring by 
merely burning the high stubble left by headers, or 
turniniy livestock into the harvested fields. 

Such operations imply large farms. The census of 
1880 placed the average size at 462 acres, among 
36,000 farms, or one for every twenty-four persons, 
while the average for the union was one for every 
dozen. Among the reasons must be considered the 
prevalence of mining, the position of the state as a 
commercial and industrial centre for the coast, the 
speculative farming which requires the service of a 
large proportion among the inhabitants, and the old 
Mexican land laws which favored the acquisition of 
huge tracts, many of them controlling still others by 
securing the scanty supply of water. The new horti- 
cultural era is rapidly effecting a change by a sub- 
division of grants under the pressure of taxes. 

There is little valuable land unoccupied, and this 
is held at high prices, which are not extravagant, 
however, in view of the favorable climate and con- 
ditions, the usually unobstructed ground and the 
immense possibilities of the soil. Two-thirds of the 
16,600,000 acres of farm-lands were improved in 
1880, yielding products to the value of $60,000,000, 
or $700 for every one of the 79,000 agricultural 
workers, while the average yield throughout the 
union was only $300 for each laborer, and this result 
was obtained with farm implements to the value of 
only eighty cents per acre. 

Compared with the other states of the union, Cali- 
fornia is a summer-land, situated in one of the most 
favored zones on the globe, the attraction for an ever- 
increasinof influx of tourists in search of rest and 
enjoyment; of invalids in quest of health, and of 
homes cool in summer and warm in winter; of innni- 
grants, attracted by the fame of vineyards, orchards, 
and orange groves. It offers, indeed, a perennial 
spring, with ever-blooming fields beneath an Italian 


sky. The soil is light, yet rich, with no obstructions 
in the valleys to immediate and easy operations. 
There are no cold winters to bury the ground fur 
months, little frost, rare storms, and insignificant 
blio"hts. Nature grants extra opportunities, as shown 
in the perpetual green, in the rapid growth of trees 
and animals, which attain maturity at little more than 
half the age assigned in the eastern states, and in the 
luxuriant yield and large size of the fruits, vegetables, 
and other products. The climate permits harvesting 
to be left to the convenience of the farmer, and many 
fruits may be dried in the sun for preservation, like 
the standing grain crop. The no-fence laws confer a 
boon of no small value since farming supplanted stock- 
raising and mining as leading industry. Thus safe- 
guards and natural advantages lighten toil and 
expense, supply more wants and luxuries, and encour- 
ao-e the formation of beautiful and comfortable homes 
and prosperous horticultural colonies. 

The disadvantages are comparatively slight, though 
the summer wind is at times withering, and ground- 
squirrels, gophers, and rabbits abound in some dis- 
tricts. The dry summers and occasional droughts, 
while forbidding in some respects, are in a measure 
offset by their advantages for harvesting and in check- 
ing weeds. Floods at times injure the river border, 
but the formerly attendant evil of mining debris, 
deposited upon the land during inundations, has been 
checked by legislation, and land monopoly is likewise 
decliningr. These and other reforms are effected as 
the interests concerned acquire prominence. Thus, 
the growth of wheat-raising in the timberless valleys, 
and the decline of stock-raising, relieved the farmers 
from the necessity of maintaining fences. With the 
subdivision of tracts into small holdings, as required 
by the new era, will come also more careful cultivation. 

Dryness once rendered uninhabitable many sections 
in the south, but this is rapidly being overcome by 


irrigation, which is, moreover, stimulated by the 
irregular and scanty distribution of rain. It not 
only reclaims otherwise valueless regions, as instanced 
by the now rich and populous Fresno district, but 
assures and augments crops in general, fertilizes and 
renovates the soil, destroys pests by flooding, and 
enables the farmer to select his own time for planting, 
and to raise several crops in one season, economizing 
time and opportunity. It also provides canals for 
cheap transportation, breeding-ponds for fish, and 
hydraulic power for farm operations. It increases 
largely the value of land, and is especially advantage- 
ous for colonies, binding them in closer bonds. 

Most of the water is supplied through canals and 
ditches from the rivers, but artesian wells provide 
large sections. Even with the aid of the latter some 
districts, like the eastern slope of San Joaquin valley, 
can obtain water for perhaps not over seventy per 
cent of the soil, while the western slope suffers from 
still greater scarcity. In the southern counties the 
Mexicans introduced the system immediately after 
entering the country, although making slow progress. 
In the crold reg-ion it was fostered by the construction 
of mining ditches, and in 1871 the growth of settle- 
ments induced capitalists to turn their attention in 
this direction. Soon afterward was begun the largest 
canal in the state, the San Joaquin and King river, 
which by 1878 had been extended for seventy miles. 
Several other ditches were undertaken, their owners 
profiting by the costly and somewhat defective plan 
of the first, and a few years later nearly 200,000 acres 
were under irrigation in San Joaquin valley alone. 

Government aid is called for by many districts, but 
the matter should undoubtedly be left to private 
enterprise, or to cooperative effort in the counties 
concerned, under the supervision of the authorities, in 
order to adapt the system and its resources to all dis- 
tricts, and prevent exaction and undue discrimination. 
In this connection has arisen the question of water 

C. B— m. 20 


right : whether the water in the stream from which 
canals are suppUed belongs to riparian land -holders, 
according to the laws of England usually prevailing 
in the United States, or to the state at large for the 
general benefit. There are manifest reasons why a 
common law, hastily adopted from a country so dis- 
similar in climate and conditions to California, should 
not be adopted when it imperils the vital interests of 
some of the richest districts of the state. Nature 
clearly designs the rain for the land where it falls, 
and if under topographic peculiarities it drains into 
springs or streams upon adjoining property, it should 
be conceded to the public, as in the case of navigable 
streams, which on account of their general value are 
free to all. The prior appropriation for mining ditches 
so long recognized, and the rejection of eastern fence 
laws, give precedents for rulings in harmony with the 
exceptional circumstances of the country. 

If properly distributed a rainfall of a dozen inches 
is ample for wheat crops, but owing to irregular dis- 
tribution less than an average of sixteen inches is sure 
to result in some failures. Severe droughts are rare, 
however, occurring about once in thirteen years. 
That of 1862-4 revolutionized agricultural interests 
in several counties, and the one of 1876-7 inflicted a 
loss of some $20,000,000 in cattle and crops. 

In California the conformation of the surface, sub- 
divided as it is into narrow strips by several ranges, 
with cross ridges and lateral openings, gives rise to a 
variety of climates and soils. The warm ocean cur- 
rents and almost daily sea breezes modify the temper- 
ature even in the interior valle3^s, and impart to the 
coast a most equable temperature. In the north, 
where no heated interior basins exist to draw the 
cooling sea air, the prevailing wind is northwesterly, 
laden with summer showers. Below Cape Mendo- 
cino a change occurs. The rains, decreasing with 
every degree of latitude, from between 43 and 73 
inches in the north to 9 and 12 in the south, depend 


upon southwesterly currents, which are very rare 
between May and October, leaving a dry season of 
nearly six months, but prevail throughout the winter, 
with a precipitation that produces not infrequent 
floods. A corresponding though somewhat higher 
gradation is observed along the interior valley strip, 
with an increase during the ascent of the Sierra slope, 
crowned by snows that feed the streams in summer. 
This peculiarity of distribution regulates the agricul- 
tural system, with its busy winter season and early 
and convenient harvest-time. 

Climate predominates over geologic formation in 
determining the agricultural value of districts, espe- 
cially in the south. The Sierra Nevada exercises, 
nevertheless, a marked influence, with its elevated 
slope and vast drainage area. Its long line of foot- 
hills forms a kind of upland plain, with a breadth in 
tlie north and centre of 50 to 70 miles, and with an 
elevation of 500 to 4,000 feet, but narrowing in the 
south within a border of bare and abrupt blufts. The 
western side of the great valley has only a narrow 
strip of slope. From these ranges have come the 
clayey soil of the Sacramento and the sandy deposits 
of the San Joaquin. The former is very productive 
without irrigation, and the bottom lands covered by 
minino; debris will in time recover from this blifrht. 
In San Joaquin the need for irrigation increases, and 
becomes indispensable farther to the south, where 
intermittent streams run through a sandy surface, 
marked by terrace formations of varying fertility. 
Alono' the coast the soil screws heavier as the ocean 
moisture increases. Thermal belts occur in different 
districts, free from frost, which present special advan- 
tages for horticulture, and a large area of swamp land 
affords an opportunity for science and capital to unite 
in reclamation projects. 

Grain -growing supplanted stock-raising in the six- 
ties as the leading industry of the state, and cereals 


will probably remain a staple product, notwithstand- 
ing the increase of orchards and vineyards, favored as 
they are by easy tillage and the best of harvest con- 
ditions. Barley has been gaining additional markets 
under the growing demand for brewing and feeding 
purposes, and favored by the sandy soil and dry cli- 
mate, the crop increasing to more than 12,000,000 
bushels by 1880. The above conditions are not 
favorable to oats, and of this cereal only about 
1,500,000 bushels were produced, chiefly in the well- 
watered moister counties of the north and central 
coast region. The growth of maize is also limited, 
but it is raised in the south with the aid of irrigation. 

Wheat was the leading cereal even in colonial days, 
and deservedly so, for it is well adapted to the soil, 
and possessed of exceptionally glutinous qualities, 
together with a dryness which gives it a special value 
for admixture with English grades, and permits it to 
endure the long sea-vo3^age without special care or 
preparation. The yield increased to over 30,000,000 
bushels in the early eighties, stimulated at first by 
easy cultivation, and by the facilities for ready ship- 
ment, and subsequently by the reputation acquired 
for the grain. The lessened yield of recent years is 
due to lower prices, careless farming, and the greater 
attractions of other products. The cereal will never- 
theless maintain its position by the side of mining and 
horticulture as one of the leadingr sources for Califor- 
nia's prosperity and development. 

Vegetables were not grown to any considerable 
extent until after the revival in agriculture under 
American auspices, when producers were favored by 
the demand from scurvy-threatened miners and by 
high prices. Production was subsequently sustained 
by the enormous yield, their growth lasting through- 
out the year for most varieties, and by their excellent 
quality, with a size and weight greatly in excess of 
eastern products, potatoes frequently weighing several 
pounds, and squashes over three hundred pounds, 


The rapidity of growth affects the flavor of many 
descriptions ; others are widely appreciated, however, 
and find distant markets with aid of canneries. Their 
culture has fallen mainly into the hands of the Ital- 
ians and Chinese, whose windmills for irrigation form 
a striking feature in the outskirts of towms. 

The speculative Californian has tried his prolific 
soil with almost every variety of promising plants, 
but has met with many disappointments, due greatly 
to haste and inexperience, but also to unfavorable 
local conditions, and to the lack of markets in a new 
country. Rice failed to answer expectations ; yet the 
swamp land under reclamation may later present 
inducements. Cotton was tried for a time by the 
missionaries; subsequently planters from the southern 
states brought their experience to bear, and in the 
middle of the sixties the state gave an impulse to its 
culture by offering premiums; but so far the produc- 
tion is confined to a few hundred acres, although with 
promise of a revival with improved methods and 
quality of fibre. Flax, once raised by Mexican colo- 
nists, is now planted, in common with castor beans, 
for its oil. The semi-tropic ramie and jute are also 
attracting some attention. 

The most auspicious fibre-culture is connected with 
silk, and was started in 1853 by L. Prevost of San 
Jose, samples receiving such flattering reports from 
France as to induce the state to come forward with a 
reckless offer of premiums. Speculators hastened to 
avail themselves of this opportunity by planting trees, 
and producing inferior silk by a makeshift process, 
until they threatened to swamp the state treasury. 
The legislature hastened to reform the perniciouc act, 
and the bubble burst upon the speculators. Other 
circumstances added to the depression. It had been 
shown, however, that the state presents favorablj 
conditions for sericulture, in its equable climate, fav- 
oring the rapid growth of trees with superior loaves, 
and permitting a great saving in the feeding of silk- 


worms ; in double crops, if required, and in a large 
yield of silk. A society accordingly revived the busi- 
ness for the special benefit of women, and by selecting 
superior trees and annual cocoons they are winning a 
reputation for their products, which are, moreover, 
protected by the high tariff on foreign goods. 

A similar fiasco took place in tobacco. The dry 
climate had been found detrimental to its quality, but 
early in the seventies J. D. Gulp invented a process 
for curing the leaf which was claimed to be economic 
as well as improving to the flavor. A company 
undertook to carry out the idea without due prelimi- 
nary experiments. The result proved unsatisfactory, 
and reckless mismanagement assisted to bring about 
failure and discouragement, so that production fell 
from 1,250,000 pounds in 1874 to less than 80,000 
five years later. 

Model farmers continue to make experiments, and 
will in time reveal additional sources for profit. Hops 
thrive well in a climate free from summer rains and 
fogs, with ready means for curing. The mustard 
plant, a pest in many quarters, has become valued 
for its spice as well as its oil. After unremunerative 
attempts to extract sugar from grapes, melons, sor- 
ghum, and other materials, the sugar-beet was found 
to answer, by virtue of its superior sweetness, and its 
manufacture promises to expand. 

The pastoral era has gone, and grain-growing is 
yielding the first rank among California industries to 
horticulture, with its attendant condition of small 
holdings, as best adapted to general prosperity, and 
to the elevation of agricultural labor, which in this 
instance falls to a relatively superior class. California 
promises to become the France of North America. 

Few countries can display so great a variety of 
excellent fruits, some of which, like the grape and 
pear, seem to have found here their best development, 
while others, as the apricot, olive, and fig, never 


thrive so well elsewhere in the United States. Tlie 
Spaniards began their cultivation in pastoral days, 
with seeds and slips from the peninsula, but exposed 
the already deteriorated quality to further neglect. 
United States immigrants planted orchards in t];e 
Sacramento valley, and miners spread them along the 
gold belt. In the sixties came a grape excitement, 
only to subside under inexperience, with a return to 
orchards. Apples predominated, in response to Anglo- 
Saxon taste, and the diflerent climates of lowland and 
foothill permitted many acceptable varieties to be 
raised, although the average was inferior in flavor and 
for keeping qualities. Among the supeiior pears the 
Bartlett has achieved a wide reputation. The deli- 
cious and prolific apricot is likewise in demand, and 
the prune is gaining favor, but the peach is less appre- 
ciated, in common with certain varieties of cherries. 

Fruit-growing has also experienced its vicissitudes. 
The destruction occasioned by frost and other causes 
to the oranojeries of Florida turned attention to Call- 
fornia, where citrus fruits flourish south of latitude 
thirty-five degrees, and in the Sacramento valley. 
Early in the eighties the fame of her orange groves 
spread far and wide, and proved the main attraction 
for the remarkable influx of tourists and immiorants, 
and the initial point for the attendant increase in real 
estate values and in general development. Irrigation 
is assuring the crop, and increased railroad facilities 
are opening for it the eastern markets. 

Figs are receiving attention in the same zone, and 
Smyrna and white Adriatic are being introduced to 
improve upon the prevailing black Turkey variety. 
Among nuts, almonds promise well only in certain 
districts; in others they bloom without yielding fruit. 
The olive is a product for which the dry and other- 
wise comparatively worthless hill lands of the south 
seem well suited, although the valleys are better. 

The grape stands preeminent, however, as the most 
valuable product of the state. The abortive excite- 


ment to which it gave rise in the early sixties had 
the effect of rousing the legislature to appoint a com- 
mission for studying its culture and introducing cut- 
tings from European stocks, superior to the so-called 
mission grape, a deteriorated south Spanish stock 
brought by the first friars from the peninsula. The 
task was entrusted to A. Haraszthy, a native of the 
wine districts of Hungary, whose efforts in behalf of 
the industry have procured for him deservedly the 
appellation of the father of viniculture. The varieties 
selected by him were distributed among experienced 
viticulturists, and proved the source for the red Zin- 
fandel, the light white Kiesling, and other popular as 
well as choice brands. The consequent revival of 
general interest in this direction was checked by phyl- 
loxera and other troubles, but only for a time. With 
the present decade the culture has gained firm foot- 
Ijold, and inflowing land-tillers and unfolding colonies 
are fast spreading attractive vineyards over valleys 
and foothills throughout the state. The south still 
retains the preponderance, reenforced by the upper 
counties of the San Joaquin valley, while the essen- 
tially viticultural regions of Sonoma and Napa are 
supplemented by the counties of the Sacramento 

With nearly double the amount of sugar contained 
in European grapes, the California wines are as a 
whole strong and lacking in delicacy of flavor, the 
heavier southern resembling those of Spain, Hungary, 
and Greece, while the central and northern varieties 
strive for German and French standards. The defect 
is greatly due to the lowland soil, with irrigation 
necessary in the south and elsewhere advisable; but 
now the poorer hill lands are becoming recognized as 
the best, though yielding less and involving more 
work. The average yield is high, and may be placed 
at seven pounds for each of the 800 vines on the acre, 
while from a ton of grapes 130 gallons of wine may 
be obtained. A portion of the fruit is gathered for 


table use ; another is converted into brandy and a 
third is reserved for raisins. In 1881 the export 
of wine reached 3,000,000 gallons, consuming about 
one-third of the yield, and the demand is rapidly 
increasing, through the enterprise of our wine mer- 
chants. The California brands are acquiring recogni- 
tion, based on their own merit, and on the state's reputa- 
tion as one of the best grape-regions in the world. 
This reputation is sustained by a nuniber of exce})- 
tiotial advantages, such as sure crops, subject to com- 
paratively slight afflictions ; a yield nearly double that 
of European vineyards ; a soil adapted to a great 
variety of grapes, and a stalk which after the third 
year becomes self-supporting, thus saving much labor 
and risk from wind, drought and frost. 

These advantages apply largely to fruit in general, 
for orchards begin to bear at half the age, as com- 
pared with those of eastern states, and the yield is 
about double, the fruit being of large size and as a rule 
of excellent flavor. Picking never ceases, for the 
citrus season covers the months when other orchards 
are not in bearing. Strawberries are in the market 
all the year in the south. Pests are few and mild in 
their ravages, particularly under the remedial meas- 
ures favored by the climate, in irrigation and low- 
training of trees and shrubs, which promote maturity 
and protect soil and plants alike. Fruit may also be 
left upon the tree long after maturity. The inferior 
flavor of certain varieties is being improved under 
superior methods and elimination. Of late years the 
railways are offering special facilities for transporting 
fresh fruit eastward, and canneries assist in opening 
wide markets. During the period of 1875-81 the pro- 
duction of the latter increased from 4,500,000 to 11,- 
000,000 cans, or 27,500 pounds. Raisins, figs, and 
prunes may be safely and cheaply dried in the sun. 

Judging by the ornamental gardens which form so 
attractive a feature of California towns, the taste for 


horticulture is widespread, in striking contrast to the 
indifference during colonial times. The climate fos- 
ters it, by admitting a large variety of plants, forcing 
them rapidly to maturity, and keeping most of them 
green throughout the winter, gay with brilliant if not 
very fragrant flowers. The streets and many a high- 
way are profusely adorned with trees, which reliev^e 
the landscape and provide a grateful shade. The 
planting of forests has been undertaken to some 
extent, for fuel fences and wind-breaks, and efforts on 
a large scale are urged to modify the objectionable 
features of the interior valleys and promote greater 

The state has been remiss in many directions where 
a moderate outlay has produced good results, leav- 
ing the people to establish their own agricultural 
societies, with exhibitions under their auspices. The 
first fair is attributed to the eftbrts of T. Shelton,who 
in November 1851 displayed a collection of agricul- 
tural and mineral specimens at San Francisco, and 
hastened the formation in 1854 of the State Ao-ricul- 
tural society. The latter received assistance from the 
authorities in order to encourage others, and to make 
it the head of the county and district associations 
which sprang up throughout the country, with experi- 
mental aims, exhibits, and premiums. 

These organizations gave rise to other general and 
particular bodies, such as conventions of stock -raisers, 
fruit and wheat growers, and sericulturists, with the 
view of promoting certain objects, or of combining 
against antagonistic interests, as fence restrictions, 
traffic monopoly, and the middlemen. An association 
for considering all such evils, especially the last two, 
exists in the national grange, which the farmers of 
California bes^an to join in o-reat numbers in 1873. 
They opened a special business agency to support and 
sell produce, and to buy implements and other neces- 
saries direct from importers and manufacturers, and 
promoted the establishment of farmers' banks, ware- 


houses, and cooperative stores in different towns, and 
even the construction of railways; all ain)ing to 
defeat extortion and save commissions and specula- 
tors' profits, while benefiting the entire community 
by forcing middlemen to greater compliance. 

The monopoly of land is being shorn of its pro|>or- 
tion by equitable taxation, and b}' the attractions pre- 
sented in the rise of land values under the present 
horticultural development. A promising feature in 
this connection is the formation of colonies, diflering 
from the early Spanish efforts in that they are mainly 
dependent on fruit-raising, and cooperative in certain 
directions, with a view to assure success by means of 
costly irrigation works and certain adjuncts, such as 
canneries, presses, and mills. These common interests 
with commercial and educational branches, continue 
to form a beneficent feature in the community. TLe 
prototype of these modern colonies was Anaheim, 
founded on a site bought and laid out in common, 
under the supervision of an experienced viticulturist, 
and when duly started, divided among the share- 
holders. Encouraged by its success others followed 
the example, and owners of large ranchos began to 
subdivide them, often adding improvements in the 
shape of ditches, trees, and vines, and hoping to profit 
additionally by the building of a town. These ven- 
tures contributed to land excitements, which, starting 
in the southern orange region, spread northward, 
increasing values sometimes ten fold indifferent direc- 
tions, and giving fresh impulse to the formation of 
horticultural homesteads of from ten to thirt}' acres. 
They converted the wilderness into gardens and laid 
the foundations for the most prosperous of agricultural 

To sum up the agricultural condition of California, 
under which phrase is nicluded stock-raising, horticul- 
ture, viticulture, irrigation, and other kindred branches, 
it may be stated that in 181)0 the state ranked first in 


the union as tc diversity of products, first in the pro- 
duction of wine and of several descriptions of fruit, 
and among the first in yield and export of wheat. In 
that year, one by no means specially favorable to our 
farming interests, the total value of cereal, hay, and 
root crops was estimated at more than $65,000,000, 
including 25,000,000 centals of wheat and 16,000,000 
bushels of barley. Of wine the product was 18,000- 
000 gallons; of raisins, 2,000,000 boxes; of prunes, 
15,000,000 pounds; of oranges, 4,000 car-loads ; with 
shipments of green and dried fruits to eastern markets 
of 150,000,000 pounds. 

A feature in the harvest year of 1890 was the de- 
lay and difficulty in moving the grain crops. Not- 
withstanding the enormous receipts at tide-water, an 
immense quantity was stacked on the farms, or by 
the side of railroad tracks, where for weeks it awaited 
transportation. Add to this excessive freights by 
land and sea, the latter caused by a scarcity of tonnage, 
and the margin of profit was so inconsiderable as to 
discourao;e the smaller class of farmers. On the 
larger wheat farms the cost of production has been 
greatly decreased by the use of steam-power in plant- 
ing and harvesting, effecting a saving of fifty per 
cent on the methods formerly prevailing, when crops 
were sown and garnered by horse and hand power. 
Except on a large scale, and with the most improved 
appliances, wheat-firming is no longer profitable in 
California, and as the result, many small farms have 
been abandoned or converted to other uses. With 
prices ranging, as in recent years, from $1.25 to $1.35 
per cental, and with freights and labor at existing 
rates, it has been found impossible to compete with 
the grain-growers of Russia and Hindostan, with 
wages at from one fourth to one tenth those here de- 
manded. In occasional seasons, however, the values 
of wheat may be remunerative, as in 1890, when there 
was a partial failure in the European harvest, and in 
that of England, our most reliable customer, almost 
a total failure. 


Our barley and corn crops are largely consumed at 
home, though with considerable shipments of the former 
to eastern breweries. Of oats and rye the product is 
insignificant, as compared with other cereals. Among 
vegetables the bean is one of the most profitable, net- 
ting on an average from $50 to $75 an acre, and with 
the advantage of quick and sure returns. For 1890 
the yield amounted to some 50,000 tons, of which 
about 30,000, mainly of the lima variety, were cred- 
ited to Ventura county. Shipments east were on a 
liberal scale, as were those of other vegetables, and 
especially of potatoes, the latter estimated at 13,000 
tons. So large was the potato crop that, in occasional 
instances, it was said to have repaid the first cost of 
the land. In some localities a specialty was made of 
raising winter vegetables for consumption in the east, 
shipping them at a season of the year when eastern 
markets are entirely bare. Of hay the crop was from 
1,500,000 to 2,000,000 tons, largely of alfalfa, which, 
with the aid of labor-saving appliances, can now be 
produced at a cost, inclusive of cutting, curing, and 
stacking, of $1 a ton. A feature of the year was the 
increase in the sugar-beet crop to 8,000 or 10,000 tons, 
and according to some authorities as much as 15,000 

tons. At this date there were three beet suafar-mills 

. . . . '-^ 

in operation, the one at Chino, in San Bernardino 

county, being the largest in the United States. 

But it is as a fruit-growing region that California 
has attracted most attention within recent j^ears, for 
here are profitably raised nearly all the fruits that 
grow in temperate and semi-tropical climes. Among 
orchard fruits we have the apple, pear, and quince, 
the plum and cherry, the peach and nectarine, with 
berries and currants of every description. Of semi- 
tropical fruits we have the fig and date, the orange, 
lime, and lemon. Of grapes there is almost every 
variety that grows on the face of the earth, including 
both wine and raisin grapes. Of nuts there are sov- 


eral native and imported species, as the almond, fil- 
bert, and chestnut, the French and English walnut. 
Here also fruit-trees come earlier into bearing, bear 
longer, bear larger, more richly flavored, and more 
abundant crops than elsewhere in the United States. 
So plentiful is the yield that trees must be heavily 
pruned, and relieved at times of one half their load, to 
secure the choicest products of which they are capa- 
ble. Another advantage is the warm, protracted, rain- 
less summer, fostering the growth and maturity of 
fruits, and affording the cheapest and best conditions 
for drying and curing. 

It was not until long after shipments by rail to 
eastern markets became practicable that fruit- raising 
was classed as amoncr our leadinof industries. For 
many j^^ears its growth was retarded and is still re- 
tarded by excessive freiglits, with a charge per car- 
load from San Francisco to New York of more than 
$500 in 1880 and of about $300 in 1890, while in the 
former yesiV such fruits as early pears and peaches 
were shipped by passenger train at the rate of $1,000 
the car-load. Thus while in 1 880 wheat was forwarded 
by the Southern Pacific at $13 a ton from San Fran- 
cisco to New Orleans, fruit to New York, by the 
Central Union system must pay, by freight train 
more than $50 and by passenger train more than $100 
a ton. In 1890 the rate by the former was still nearly 
$30 a ton, or over a cent and a third per pound. Add 
to this the delay in transit, for which the lines east of 
Ogden are mainly responsible, causing much of the 
fruit to be landed in an unmarketable condition, and 
it will be seen that fruit-growing is not the royal road 
to wealth that some would have us imagine. 

But notwithstanding all drawbacks the unfolding 
of this industry has been one of the most remarkable 
features in the recent annals of the state. In 1871 
shipments of fresh fruits to eastern markets were 
1,832,000. For the next ten years they increased 
but slowly and with many fluctuations, until in 1881 


they amounted to 7,248,000 pounds. For 1890 they 
may be stated, according to the lowest estimate, at 
75,000,000 pounds. Of dried fruits the first consign- 
ments were made in 1875, and consisted of some 
548,000 pounds. In 1880 they were only 412,000 
pounds, and for 1890 were computed at from 30,000- 
000 to 40,000,000 pounds. From 182,000 pounds 
in 1872, shipments of canned fruit increased to 6,707- 
000 in 1880, to 56,000,000 in 1887, and to a still 
larger aggregate in 1890. Of dried fruits the princi- 
pal articles were, in the order named, raisins, peaches, 
prunes, apricots, and grapes ; of canned fruits, apricots, 
peaches, and pears. 

The general condition of the fruit trade in 1890 
may be judged from the operations of the California 
fruit union, by which were handled in that year nearly 
two thirds of the green deciduous fruit shipments of 
the state. For the season beginning Avith May and 
ending with November the union shipped to eastern 
markets 1,373 car-loads, of w^iich 828 were to Chi- 
cago, 136 to New York, 116 to Boston, and the re- 
mainder to points as far northward as St Paul and 
as far southward as New Orleans. It is worthy of 
note that only two of these car-loads were forwarded ') 
from San Francisc(vSan_ Jose taking the lead with '^- 
290 car-loads; followed by Vacaville with 254; Sacra- ^ 
mento, 196; Newcastle, 138; and Winters, 109; all ^^ 
others being less than 100 car-loads. The gross sales 
amounted to $1,501,023 ; the freights to $620,688, and 
commissions, cartage, and storage to $158,438, or a 
total of $779,126, leaving as net returns $721,897, 
to be increased by some $50,000 through shipments 
yet to hear from. The season was regarded as in the 
main a prosperous one, except for cherries and grapes, 
both of which arrived in poor condition, wliile the 
eastern crop of the latter was unusually heavy. 
With these exceptions shippers, of whom a large 
proportion were also fruit-growers, were fairly satis- 
fied, though paying to the railroad companies nearly 


one half of the total value of their consignments. 
Complaint was made of the scarcity of cars, wliich at 
times were not to be had at any price, and of the 
want of method and punctuality in this department 
of the railroad service. But for the lack of better 
and cheaper faciUties for transportation, the prospects 
of our horticulturists are of the brightest, with the 
world for their market and with a demand for their 
products that is practically unlimited. Certain it is 
that when once the fruit reaches its destination there 
is no delay in disposing of it, for most of it is sold at 
auction and with the quickest possible despatch. A 
car-load arriving overnight is in the auction-room by 
nine in the morning ; before ten it is sold ; before 
noon it is removed, and on the same day a check is 
mailed for the proceeds. 

Durino: the five seasons ending? with 1890, the aver- 
age net returns from green fruits shipped to eastern 
markets were somewhat over two cents a pound, and 
with cheaper freights and improved methods of han- 
dling, these returns could be largely increased. For 
1888 it was estimated that the fruits and wines of 
California produced from 250,000 acres a value of 
$26,000,000, while the cereal yield from 2,550,000 
acres was $50,000,000, or at the rate of $104 an acre 
for the former, against less than $20 for the latter. 
Such figures require no comment. 

It was through the excellence of her vineyards that 
California first began to attract attention as a fruit- 
growing region ; for here, it was found, could be raised 
every known variety of grape, whether for table use, 
for raisins, or for wine. By Arpad Haraszthy, whose 
father was one of the founders and promoters of this 
industry, is thus briefly related the story of California 
viticulture: "Although the grape-vine was planted by 
the mission fathers as early as 1770, but little pro- 
gress was made in this direction until 1858. As one 
of the commissioners appointed by Governor Downey 
in 18G1, my father, Aga.ston Haraszthy, visited the 


principal viticultural regions of Europe, returning 
with much valuable information, and two hundred 
thousand cuttings and rooted vines of every descrip- 
tion found in Europe, Asia Minor, Persia, and Egypt. 
In 1870 the production of wine and table grapes was 
greater than the demand, and by 1875 many vine- 
yards had either been abandoned or uprooted. Some 
four or live years later, liowever, the demand again 
increased, which, with small crops, caused an advanca 
in the price of wine, and thus the beginning of what 
may really be termed the viticultural industry of Cali- 

" In jMarch 1880 the leo-islature created the board 
of viticulture, and since that date we have been ad- 
vancing more rapidly than was ever before anticipated, 
in all branches of the business. When the board 
was organized, there were about 35,000 acres of vines 
planted in this state, of which about 20 per cent were 
of imported and the remainder of old mission varieties. 
In 1888 it was estimated that there were not less than 
150,000 acres in vines, and that fully 90 per cent of 
the wine-grapes consisted of the best grades of foreign 
varieties obtained from the principal wine countries 
of the world." 

To the making of wine in California there is no 
practical limit, for wine is consumed the world over, 
while production is restricted to certain areas. And 
yet this industry has been subject to many drawbacks 
and fluctuations, caused by inexperience, by local pre- 
judice, and the want of other than local markets. It 
was not until recently that those who have passed 
through what has been termed "the genesis of vi- 
nous production," who have labored and planted and 
pruned for more than a quarter of a century, could find 
any adequate return for their weary 3- ears of toil and 
endeavor. As late as 1880 mission grapes were mainly 
used for wine- making purposes, producing at best only 
a heavy, coarse, and flavorless vintage. At that date 
men would not believe that any grapes could be so 

C. B.-III. 21 


good as those introduced by the padres, and only small 
quantities of wine were made from choicer varieties. 
But with the organization of the board of viticulture 
came a change in the condition of affairs, and to the 
efforts of that board is largely due the present status 
of this industry. The vintage of 1881 was stated 
at 12,000,000 gallons, decreasing to 8,000,000 in 
1883, doubling itself in the following year, and in the 
f:ve succeeding years averaging from 15,000,000 to 
16,000,000 gallons, with a yield, as I have said, for 
1890 of about 18,000,000 gallons, though according 
to some estimates placed as low as 14,000,000. It 
was not until 1889 that the demand began to keep 
pace with the supply, through the steady increase of 
eastern and foreign requirements. Thus in occasional 
seasons prices were extremely low, a portion of the 
vintage of 1886, for instance, selling, for the cheaper 
grades, at 13 to 14 cents per gallon, with an average, 
up to 1890, of less than 20 cents a gallon. 

At the latter date the area in wine-grape and 
raisin vineyards was estimated at more than 200,000 
acres, and the invested capital at $75,000,000. Of 
wine-grapes the crop for 1890 was the largest gath- 
ered as yet from the vineyards of California, but with 
prices so low that several thousands of tons were 
dried, passing into consumption among the cheaper 
grades of raisins. Of such fruit hundreds of car-loads 
were shipped to eastern markets, realizing from $16 
to $20 a ton, or nearly double the rates offered by 
makers of wine. For the common mission grape $7 
or $8 a ton may be considered an average price, with 
about double that rate for the Zinfandel variet}'"; for 
the Riesling and Burgundy, $17 to $20; and for the 
Cabernet and Petit Pinot, $25 to $30. 

From 2,817,000 gallons in 1882, the exports of 
California wine rose at the rate of a few hundred 
thousand gallons a year to 4,257,000 gallons in 1885. 
Then came a more rapid increase, to 5,192,000 gallons 
in 1886, to 6,442,000 in 1887, and in 1890 to about 


11,500,000 gallons. Add to this at least 5,000,000 
gallons for consumption on the Pacific coast, and it 
will be seen that our supply of home-made wines is 
little if at all in excess of the demand. As yet there 
is no considerable export to foreign countries, except 
perhaps to France, where California wines are flavored 
to suit the popular taste, and then perhaps returned to 
us at three or four fold cost as choice imported brands. 

Such for the decade ending with 1890 was the ag- 
ricultural and commercial condition of this industry. 
When untrammelled by foolish prohibitive enactments, 
our wines are gradually finding favor in eastern mar- 
kets, and in California, even among the richer classes, 
they have largely superseded imported descriptions. 
Whether it is better for mankind to drink wine or 
water it is not my purpose here to discuss, but cer- 
tain it is that the majority of men have a preference 
for the former beverage. In countries where wine 
is the only liquor in use, as among the Latin races 
of southern Europe, the vice of drunkenness is almost 
unknown, though cheap, sound wines are used by 
persons of all ages and conditions in life, almost from 
the cradle to the grave. Such wines are here made 
in abundance, in addition to the more expensive va- 
rieties, for the vinous slop manufactured in earlier 
vears can no lono^er find a market. 

The growth of viticulture has been attended by a 
corresponding increase in the production of brandy, 
w^hich of late years has assumed a relative importance 
never before attained. By the commissioner of in- 
ternal revenue the production of California brand}^ 
was stated, for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1865, 
at 20,415 gallons; increasing for 1870 to 286,753 
gallons, for 1880 to 238,928, and for 1890 to 1,072,- 
957. For the three years ending w^th 1890 the 
quantity remained almost stationary, and for the 
present it was thought that for the cheaper qualities 
the limit of production had been reached, not for 
want of a market, but of a larger supply of material 


at prices such as distillers could afford to pay. Hence 
the inducement to manufacture better grades, such as 
that for which in 1889 a gold medal was awarded 
by the Paris exposition. In France the destruction 
wrought by the phylloxera caused a large decrease in 
the manufacture of brandies, the supply of which was 
insufficient even for the home demand. Hence a 
considerable foreign as well as eastern demand on 
California distilleries, of which about 150 were regis- 
tered in September 1891. 

Raisins were first exported from California in 1874, 
in which year 10 boxes, each of 20 pounds, were 
shipped to New York by way of experiment. The re- 
sult appears to have been satisfactory, for since that 
date exports have steadily increased, until in 1890 they 
were little short of 2,000,000 boxes. Meanwhile from 
9,000 boxes in the former year the product had risen 
to 2,050,000, and according to some estimates to more 
than 2,300,000 boxes in the latter. Raisins are grown 
in many portions of the state, from San Diego as far 
north as Shasta county, Fresno taking the lead with 
nearly 1,000,000 boxes. A hopeful feature is the 
steadily increasing popularity of the California as com- 
pared with the Malaga product, our only real compet- 
itor. While the Spanish raisin, shipped to this coast in 
the form of London layers, is a large, thin-skinned, and 
finely flavored fruit, it has been largely superseded by 
California varieties, wliich now supply about one half 
the total demand of the United States, our only mar- 
ket; for in Europe, apart from Great Britain, there is 
no large consumption of raisins, and to overcome Brit- 
ish prejudice is a task beyond our California fruit- 
growers. This result is the more remarkable when 
we consider the difference in the price of labor be- 
tween the two countries, amounting probably to sev- 
enty-five per cent in favor of the Spanish viticulturist. 
Moreover, the duty of two and a half cents a pound 
imposed by our tariff is largely offset by the higher 


freight charge of one and tliree quarter cents a pound 
from San Francisco to New York, against one third 
of a cent from Spanish ports. These disadvantages 
are at present more than counteracted by the superior 
processes here obtaining of curing, handling, and pack- 
ing the crop, though it would seem that in time the 
Spaniards must learn our more economical methods. 
Meanwhile this industry is in most excellent condi- 
tion, with prices at remunerative rates, and as was 
remarked b}^ a prominent Malaga firm, "nowhere in 
the world is there such promise for the future of 
raisin-ofrowino- as in California." 

For oranges the season of 1890-1 was marked by 
unusual prosperity, wnth shipments to the east of 
more than 3,000 car-loads and at prices that left a fair 
margin of profit. An encouraging feature is, that the 
demand keeps pace with our rapidly increasing crops, 
and with no apparent tendency to lower prices. An- 
other consideration was the partial failure of the 
Louisiana and Florida crops, caused it was said by 
the change of climatic conditions in the southern 
states. In portions of Florida, where were once the 
largest and most profitable groves, young trees could 
no longer be grown, and in Louisiana what were for- 
merly the most productive of her citrus plantations had 
entirely ceased to bear. While Los Angeles, San 
Bernardino, and San Diego counties remained, as be- 
fore, the largest producers, the cultivation of the 
orange was also extended to northern California, with 
shipments to eastern points direct from Oroville. 
Lemons were attracting more attention, now that the 
proper methods of handling the fruit were understood. 

The olive, next to the grape perhaps the oldest of 
cultivated fruits, one grown in Italy long before 
Romulus traced with his plough the liniits of the 
imperial city, thrives well on the soil of California, 
requiring only warmth and drainage, with less of 
moisture than is needed for other varieties. Though 
raised to the best advantage on the slopes of hills 


with a southern exposure, it will thrive almost any- 
where, except in mountain altitudes. Says one of 
our most prominent horticulturists:"! have grovv- 
in-J- on my place olive-trees in the black adobe, in 
deep bottom land, in sandy land made from the 
wash of the mountains, in stony hillsides and adobe 
hillsides, and in table-lands where the subsoil is a 
dark clay probably twenty feet deep, and so far as I 
have known, there is no great difference in the bear- 
ing of these trees, or in the quality of the oil produced. 
From 10 or 12 pounds of olives a large bottle of oil 
is obtained, and as the yield is about 120 pounds to 
the tree at seven years from the cuttings, this would 
seem to be a profitable industry; the more so as the 
lifetime of a tree is said to exceed two centuries." 

Of plums at least two thirds of the yield are con- 
verted into prunes, the crop for 1889 being estimated 
at 15,000,000 pounds, the French being the favorite 
variety. The fig comes early into bearing, producing 
a fair crop in its third or fourth year, and sometimes 
two or three crops annually. The peach is also a 
favorite, on account of its early and copious fruitage, 
and its adaptability for shipment, canning, and dry- 
ing. The Bartlett pear still maintains its preemi- 
nence as one of the leading fruits both for export and 
home consumption. With its richness of flavor and 
aroma it commands a higher price in the eastern 
states than the product of their own orchards. For 
the smaller fruits, such as cannot be exported, the de- 
mand is limited, and except for the earlier and choicer 
varieties their culture is unprofitable. 

That fruit-raising will in the main continue to be a 
prosperous industry, and more so in the future than 
in the past, is almost beyond a peradventure. For 
markets we have the western states, where many of 
our fruits cannot be raised, and where population is 
increasing at the rate of millions a year. We have 
the eastern states, the rigor of whose climate forbids 
the production of the orange, fig, and olive, the apri- 


cot, and the grape. California is destined to be the 
orchard of the United States, and all that is needed 
for this industry is a stricter attention to methods of 
cultivation, and the cheaper freights that cannot fail 
to attend the promised competition in overland traffic. 

Closely connected with fruit-growing is the subject 
of irrigation, on which the welfare of that industrj'", 
in common with other branches of agriculture, largely 
depends. Only a small percentage of the w^heat-fields 
of California have been or probably ever will be irri- 
gated ; but for her orchards, with their more valuable 
products, irrigation is in the southern portion of the 
state a necessity, especially for the citrus fruits. In 
central and northern California orchards and vine- 
yards have not, as a rule, been irrigated, except for 
the smaller fruits. To foster the growth and fructi- 
fication of trees, it is found that water need only be 
placed on the land three or four times a year, begin- 
ning perhaps with June and ending with September. 
By running the water about once a month in small 
ditches between the rows of trees, and then, to pre- 
vent too rapid evaporation, stirring up the ground 
with cultivators, the land remains friable, and trees 
mature quickly and in healthy condition. 

In a report of the United States senate commission, 
it was estimated that up to 1889 about 3,300,000 
acres had been placed under irrigation in California, 
at a cost of $10,375,000. To this area at least 
500,000 acres have been added since that date, largely 
in San Bernardino and San Diego counties. In the 
former was the larujest reclamation work undertaken 
within recent years, the Bear Valley reservoir, which 
when in full operation would add more than 250,000 
acres to the agricultural area of that region, with a 
storage capacity of 105,420,000,000 gallons, or more 
than the ten largest reservoirs in the United States. 
Others were in Antelope valley, an intra-mountain 
district in Los Angeles county, before considered irre- 


claimable, but where, through the building of reservoirs 
and distributing-ditches, a large area has been brought 
under cultivation in grain and fruit. In Fresno, Tu- 
lare, and Kern counties considerable progress has 
also been made, and in northern California, especially 
in Lassen, Sierra, and Shasta counties, irrigation en- 
terprises are under way through storage basins and 
artesian wells. 

As to the benefits of irrigation it may be said that 
there has been no more powerful factor in adding to 
the wealth and population of the state. On irrigated 
tracts the returns are from two to ten fold more than 
are obtained from lands where there is no artificial 
watering, so that on an average ten acres of the former 
are equal in productive capacity to fifty of the latter. 
Taking the five counties where irrigation has been 
most largely developed, we find that between 1870 
and 1890 the population of Los Angeles increased 
from 15,000 to 101,000; of Tulare from 4,500 to 
85,000; of San Diego from 5,000 to 35,000; of Fresno 
from 6,300 to 32,000 ; and of San Bernardino from 
4.000 to 25,000. Meanwhile, according to the returns 
of the state board of equalization, the taxable wealth 
of Los Angeles increased from $7,000,000 to $67,- 
000.000; of Tulare from $3,500,000 to $21,700,000; 
of San Diego from $2,500,000 to $27,700,000; of 
Fresno from $3,200,000 to $35,500,000; and of San 
Bernardino from $1,200,000 to $22,500,000. It is 
probable that at least three fourths of this increase is 
due to irrigation, and to fruit-growing, which, without 
irrigation, would have been impossible on its present 
scale. While for the ten years ending with 1890 the 
population of California increased by 40 per cent, in 
thirteen counties whose principal industries were min- 
ing, stock-raising, and the lumber business there was 
a decrease of inhabitants, the loss being more than 
outbalanced by districts where farming under irriga- 
tion was the leading pursuit. 

It is now becoming generally understood that the 


farmer who avails himself of irrigation has the seasons 
and elements practically under his control. With 
irrigation the products which he raises from his land 
are rendered almost as secure as the products of the 
manufacturer, and with better assurance of a profit- 
able market. The soil is well supplied with fertilizing- 
elements ; sunshine is not wanting to quicken vegeta- 
tion into life ; and water, enriched by nourishing prop- 
erties drawn from earth and atmosphere, combines to 
eliminate from agriculture the element of uncertainty. 
Thus it is that lands originally purchased for $2 an 
acre, as in the Anaheim colony, are now worth more 
than $2,000, and that tracts deemed so worthless that 
none would pay the taxes, will now support a family in 
comfort on each ten or twenty-acre subdivision. 

• An encouraofino- feature within recent years has 
been the gradual withdrawal of irrigation enterprises 
from the control of monopolists, due largely to the 
Wright irrigation law, passed in March 1887, and 
amended in 1889 and 1891. By this measure a sys- 
tem of organization is permitted, whereby, on lands 
that can be irrigated from a common source, a district 
may be formed for this purpose, resembling somewhat 
a municipal corporation. When estimates have been 
made of the cost of the work, the population of such 
sections may vote an issue of bonds, constituting a 
first lien on all the property to be benefited, interest 
and redemption to be provided for by taxation, as 
with city and county bonds. Up to June 1891 
thirty-two districts had been organized under this 
law, and bonds issued to the amount of $11,200,000, 
of which more than one third were disposed of, the 
proceeds being devoted to the acquisition of water 
rights, the construction of works, and the purchase of 
works already constructed. 

A few years ago the area under irrigation in Cali- 
fornia was limited to a few small sections in the south- 
ern portion of the state. It has since been extended 
almost throusrhout the land from the borders of Mex- 


ico to the boundary line of Oregon. Even in districtcJ 
where irrigation was deemed unnecessary it has grad- 
ually been adopted, and in every quarter new enter- 
prises are being inaugurated, redeeming arid lands 
from their barrenness and increasing the productive- 
ness of fertile tracts. Certain it is that, throughout 
the coast, the greatest advancement has been made in 
irrigated regions, multiplying population by scores of 
thousands and wealth by scores of millions. Since 
the time when the Mormons constructed at Salt Lake 
city the first irrigating-ditch on the Pacific slope, 
until to-day we have reservoirs and canals that water 
their millions of acres, the progress made in this di- 
rection partakes indeed of the marvellous; and yet 
what has already been accomplished is but a foretaste 
of what is to come, with the more scientific and eco- 
nomic methods that must follow in the track of ex- 



California Enterprise— Genealogy— Birth— Early Career— JonRNEY 


AND Enterprise— Real Estate and Stock Operations— The Bank 
OF California— The Baldwin Hotel and Theatre— The Santa 
Anita Estate — Summer Resort at Lake Tahoe— Horse-breeding 
—The Bear Valley Rancho— A Man of Many Interests— Appear- 
ance, Characteristics, and Opinions 

That one man in his time plays many parts was 
never spoken more truly than of our California ar- 
gonauts, and of those whom for several years after- 
ward the gold excitement lured to these westerni 
shores. In each of these years came a throng of ad- 
venturers from the eastern states, many times larger 
in number than the entire white population of the 
coast before the American conquest. With them 
came also thousands of Europeans of the better class, 
most of them in sympathy, if not in political allegiance, 
with the country where they cast in their lot. For 
a time the mines gave to all a generous welcome; but 
it was not until their diminished yield forced men to 
betake themselves to other pursuits that California 
entered on an era of real and substantial prosperity. 
Then it was that our gold-seekers engaged in farming, 
manufacturing, and commercial enterprises in such 
varied forms and with such startling results as have 
never been witnessed in eastern or old-world com- 
munities. To them is due the inception of numberless 
undertakings which, in all these departments, have 

(331 ) 


placed the golden state at the head of the sisterhood, 
giving to her the control, not only of the largest mines, 
but in proportion to age and population, of the largest 
farms and factories, and the largest commercial and 
financial interests in any section of the union. And 
yet the men by whom these marvels were wrought 
came here, for the most part, with little means or ex- 
perience, with no special aptitude for the task that 
awaited them, or none of which they were conscious, 
depending only on their own right hand and the 
faculties with which nature had gifted them. 

On an August day of 1853 there arrived at Placer- 
ville, in charge of a party of immigrants, a tall and 
sturdy j^outh of some twenty-five summers, who, after 
five months' travel across plain and mountain, and with 
many a narrow escape from marauding Indians, had 
made his way westward from a frontier Wisconsin 
settlement. His name was Elias Jackson Baldwin, 
presently to be known as Lucky Baldwin, Why that 
term has been applied to him more than to other suc- 
cessful men will presently be explained; and whether 
it has been deservedly aj^plied to one whose efforts 
have raised him from comparative obscurity to a 
foremost rank among the financiers, the land-owners, 
the stock-raisers, the fruit-growers, the viniculturists 
of the west, the reader will judge for himself from the 
narrative that is laid before him. If to make good use 
of opportunities, and at times to create them, is to be 
lucky, then has he been a lucky man ; if to be gifted 
with such qualities as strength of will, persistence, 
energy, forethought, adaptability, is to be lucky, then 
does he surely owe his prosperity to that which some 
men call fortune, some fate, and others providence. 
But though providence may work in men, it does not 
work instead of them. As lago well remarks, " It 
is ourselves that makes us this or that," and if to 
other aid than his own Mr Baldwin's success is due, 
I find no trace of it among the varied incidents of his 
life. But let us hear fi'om the beginning the ances- 


tr}^ parentaf^e, and career of one who has been so 
long identified with all that is best worth preserving 
in the annals of the Pacific coast. 

As far back at least as the days of Ethelbald, king 
of Mercia, the old Saxon adjective bald, or as in Eng- 
lish bold, has been used as a prefix or suffix in many 
a patronymic. Taken in conjunction with win, from 
wirinan to fight or to gain, we have a name which, 
when applied to him who forms the subject of our 
study, is deemed by those who are acquainted with 
his character and career by no means inappropriate. 

Among the first of this name to settle in America 
was the great-great-grandfather of Elias Jackson, 
who, voyaging from England with his six brothers, 
settled in Hamilton county, Ohio, where he passed the 
remainder of his days. His son, Elias Baldwin, lived 
near the present site of Cincinnati, but later removed 
to Butler county, near the town of Hamilton, where 
he died at the age of eighty-five, leaving among other 
issue William Alexander Crooks Baldwin, whose 
birthplace was a farm near Hamilton, and the date 
1802. When but a few years of age, the latter was 
kidnapped by a band of marauding Indians, and for 
several months was held in captivit}^ Restored to 
his parents, he worked in boyhood on the farm, 
though taking full advantage of such opportunities 
as were afforded by the district schools. In early 
manhood he married a dauc^hter of a neigfhboring 
farmer, by whom he had five children: Elias Jackson, 
George, Sarah, Ann, and E valine. 

Elias Jackson Baldwin was born in Butler county, 
Ohio, on the 3d of April, 1828, removing with the 
family when six years of age to a farm in north\\"est- 
ern Indiana, some ten miles from South Bend. Here, 
as was the custom, he worked in summer and attended 
school in winter, except for a twelvemonth, when 
his parents sojourned at Crawfordsville, to give 
their children the benefit of a higher education. At 
twenty he married, taking for his wife the daughter 


of Joseph Unruh, and for a year after liis marriage 
continued to labor on the farm, laboring faithfully atid 
well, on one occasion, as he relates, handling a cradle 
while cutting grain for forty consecutive days, not 
even allowing himself the weekly day of rest. Tbis 
v/cis in 1846, when farming was still conducted, almost 
as in the days of the pilgrim fathers, without the aid 
of labor-saving machinery. 

But farming was not the occupation in which Ellas 
was destined to make his mark in life. With its 
poor returns and slender prospects he had long since 
become dissatisfied, and now he turned' his attention 
to mercantile pursuits. By trading in horses, of 
which he was an excellent judge, he had accumulated 
about $2,000, and with this sum he established a gro- 
cery business at Valparaiso, Indiana, in which he did 
fairly well, but not so well as he desired. Believing 
that he would find the town of New Buffalo, on the 
Michigan road, a more promising location, he opened 
there a hotel and general store. Trade was measur- 
ably active and profitable, so that he soon began to 
enlarge his ventures, building, for instance, several 
canal- boats, which he loaded with grain for St Louis. 
-Two years later he disposed of his interests, and re- 
moved to Bacine, Wisconsin, where he opened a large 
hotel. Thus early we see displayed his characteristic 
qualities. He was not yet twenty-five, and without 
any wide range of experience ; yet he was conscious 
that his powers had met with no fitting opportunity ; 
he had never lost faith in the greater possibilities 
that lay before him, and in his ability to make avail of 
them; hence he could not rest contented in a narrow 
and contracted sphere. 

Thus it was that in March 1853 he resolved to 
sot forth for California. Purchasing a number of 
horses, he fitted out four wagons, one of which he 
loaded with brandy, and another with tobacco and tea. 
Such articles, he thought, must find a profitable mar- 
ket, either at the mines or some intermediate point. 


As usual he judged correctly, for on reaching Salt 
Lake City he disposed of the greater portion of his 
cargo, the tobacco at $1 a plug, and the brandy at 
$16 a gallon, to the brother of Brigham Young. 
The proceeds he invested in horses, for these, at least, 
he could bring to his journey's end, even if compelled 
to abandon his wagons and merchandise. At first 
his party consisted of only eight persons: himself 
and wife; a young woman named Rachel Wormer, 
intrusted to their care to join her brother; W. F. 
McHenry, a neighbor of Baldwin's at Racine, and 
three other men. The compan}^ proceeded through 
Wisconsin to Des Moines, Iowa, and thence to Coun- 
cil Bluffs, where they were detained for a number of 
days, awaiting the arrival of the ferry-boat. After 
crossing the river, on the eastern bank of which a 
single log cabin marked the present site of Omaha, 
they followed the Carson trail, with little deviation 
beyond the Utah boundary. The journey was one 
of unusual peril and difficulty, for the Indians were 
in hostile mood, exasperated by recent conflicts with 
emigrant parties. Trouble was also encountered in 
crossing the larger rivers, their currents dangerously 
swollen in this rainy season of 1853, and the usual 
expedient must be adopted of making water-tight 
boats of the wagon-beds, and swimming over the 

From time to time the party was joined by others 
for mutual aid and protection, until the entire caravan 
included one hundred members, with more than fifty 
wagons. After reaching the south side of the Hum- 
boldt, Mr Baldwin, as captain of the company, was 
driving one da}'- in advance, accompanied only by 
Miss Wormer and two or three of his men. On 
reaching a plain a few miles distant, he observed a 
troop of Indians, whose actions portended mischief. 
Deeming it best to return, therefore, he lashed his 
horses into their fullest speed and drove backward 
toward the train. Then from the lono^ G^rass rose 


swarms of Indians, armed with revolvers or rifles, 
wlio, had such been their purpose, could easily have 
massacred the occupants of the wagon. But their 
object was to take them alive, and especially the 
young woman, who, while four of the savages clutched 
at the harness, escaped from the grasp of another only 
by dropping into the bed of the wagon.* Thereupon 
ensued a race toward the mountain point directly 
ahead, where, as its pursuers supposed, the wagon 
would be brought to a halt. Turning this point, 
however, they came in sight of the train, which was 
also beset by a band of Indians. Nothing daunted, 
Baldwin drove straight at the enemy, weapon in 
hand, and, startled at the audacity of our * bold win- 
ner,' the assailants took to their heels. A corral was 
formed, from the protruding rifles of which the red- 
skins prudently held aloof, though maintaining from 
the adjacent foothills a desultory but harmless fire. 
Here, certain of the women being taken sick, the 
company remained for several weeks without any 
serious molestation. 

The further adventures of this party I need not 
here relate in detail; how on one occasion they saved 
themselves from an Indian onslaught only by plunging 
into a stream, first driving in their mules and cliiiging 
to their tails; on another, Mr Baldwin, losing his way 
on a hunting excursion, was rescued from death by 
starvation or mountain fever by a band of friendly 
savages. Suffice it to say that through Mr Bald- 
win's able generalship, his courage and presence of 
mind in moments of danger, the company reached its 
goal in safety, though passing on the way the mould- 
ering remnants of many a train whose members had 
found there a nameless grave. 

On the 10th of August, 1853, we find Mr Baldwin 
at Placerville, where he arrived in excellent health 
and spirits, though sore-footed and shoeless, his only 
remaining pair being presented to his ward, wiiose 
shoes were complctel}' worn out on the journey. After 


a brief rest he pushed forward to San Francisco, at 
that date already a city of considerable size. Here 
his first venture was to purchase a temperance hotel 
on Pacific street, near the corner of Battery, and this 
he sold within a month at a profit of $5,000. He did 
not at once reinvest his money, but spent some time 
in looking about him for a favorable opening. " Those 
days were not like the present," he says; "one had to 
run about and ask people to sell." Presently he 
bought and conducted a hotel called the Clinton house, 
disposing of it to a Mr Corbett and then seeking for 
some suitable employment, though for a time he 
found nothinnf to his taste. Soon afterward it chanced 
that he met Mr Wormer, brother of the young girl 
who had crossed the plains with his family. With 
this man, who owned a brick-yard on the corner of 
Powell and Union streets, Baldwin, after a period of 
enforced idleness of which he quickly tired, entered 
into partnership, though, as he relates, at that time 
he hardly knew a brick from a'^stone. But if he 
knew nothing about brick-making, he knew how to 
make himself felt in anything that he took in hand ; 
he knew how to manage and develop a business, how 
to obtain contracts, and make money. The technical 
acquaintance with the business was something that 
would soon be learned, if he so desired, and in a short 
time he became as good a brick-maker as his colleague. 
When the time of his partnership had expired, he 
opened a yard of his own on Lombard street, and 
within a few months had large orders to fill. The 
bricks for the old catholic church, on the corner of 
Dupont and California streets, for the old United 
States mint on Commercial street, and for the catho- 
lic church that stood on the site of the Palace hotel 
were all supplied by him. 

At this time work was in progress at Fort point 
and Alcatraz Island, the commandant of which was 
Colonel de Pusse. Knowinof that bricks would be 
needed, Baldwin called on the colonel and offered to 

C. B.— III. 22 


make them for him at the fort, promising to supply as 
^ood an article as could be obtained in San Francisco. 
The officer was disposed to think well of the project 
and promised to consider it. Two days later he called 
at his office on Montgomery street, taking with him 
three or four bricks wrapped up in a newspaper, some- 
what to the amusement of his men, who laughed at 
him for carrying a brick-yard under his arm. But 
Colonel de Russe was satisfied that Baldwin knew 
his business, and the next day a salaried engagement 
was made, and the work begun. By the terms of the 
contract he was to receive $500 a month, and board 
the men, from which, as there were many employed, 
he made at least $500 a month additional. At first 
he had some difficulties to contend with. The clay 
was bad and the first bricks were poor; but a search 
throuofhout the neighborhood resulted in findinof better 
material. Soon everything went smoothly, for Mr 
Baldwin acted on his motto, "If a man is determined, 
he can do anything in the world." Though he had 
learned something of brick-making, he was, as he him- 
self expressed it, " not the best brick-maker in the 
w^orld"; but that fact he kept to himself, and talked 
as though he could give points to the best brick-maker 
that ever lived, as no doubt he could after studying 
the process from books as well as in practice, procur- 
ing all the works on the subject within reach, and 
spending half his nights in reading them. At least 
he knew enouo-h of the business to hold the ofovern- 
rnent contract for three or four years, during which 
time he supplied all the bricks for the forts at the 
point and at Alcatraz. 

And he made money ; he would not be Baldwin 
otherwise. Some of his accumulations he put out on 
mortgage, and some he invested in real estate and 
mines, purchasing among other properties a two-hun- 
dred-and-fifty-vara lot on the south side of McAllis- 
ter street. One day he was told that some persons 
were occupying this lot and had partially enclosed it 


with a fence, for squatting was then common in San 
Francisco, not infrequently resulting in serious en- 
counters. As soon as Baldwin heard of it he pro- 
cured a number of shotofuns and revolvers, ordered 
a couple of teams to be harnessed, filled the wagons 
with armed men, and drove at full speed toward the 
spot. But quick as he had been to act, tidings of his 
approach preceded him. Before he had reached the 
place, men in red shirts were seen flying panic-stricken 
over the sand-hills. "It was my property," says 
Baldwin, " and I was not going to be beaten out of it 
in that way." 

For several years, or until prices reached a point 
which he considered dangerous, Mr Baldwin continued 
to invest in real estate, and none foresaw more clearly 
the future greatness of the city, which many believed 
could not survive the exhaustion of the Placer mines. 
Observing, as he had done, the opportunities for mak- 
ing money in this direction, he could not do otherwise 
than invest his surplus means in land. And this he 
did with discretion and also with confidence, with the 
confidence born of experience and success, investing 
not only the thousands which he accumulated in his 
early business career, but the millions which he after- 
ward realized tlirouo'h bold but well-considered ven- 
tures in mines and mining stocks. With the past and 
present of the real estate market, with its general 
condition and prospects, there was no one more fa- 
miliar, no one who knew better where to invest and 
when, avoiding always the hazard attendant on 
periods of excitement and inflation. Instance his 
purchase of the so-called McCrellis lot on Market 
street, between Fifth and Sixth, of the Baldwin hotel 
site, and other business properties, especially on Mar- 
ket street, where values have appreciated more rapidly 
than elsewhere in the metropolis, and among his 
residence sites, a number of fifty-vara lots in Hayes 
valley, where, as he foresaw, would be a growing de- 
mand for homes. 


Where a man has made such exceptionally good 
use of his opportunities, it is perhaps ungracious to 
consider how much better he might have done had he 
been able more completely to forecast the future. But 
the time was when Mr Baldwin could with the ut- 
most ease have bought, almost for a trifle, land near 
the site of his hotel, whose later value was twenty- 
five to fifty millions. He used to go hunting with his 
friends over the very ground which he later purchased, 
paying some half a million dollars for a lot adjoining 
the hotel. This tract in the early days was so covered 
with underbrush and trees that the hunters could 
barely cross it on horseback, meeting occasionally a 
California lion stalkinsf throuofh the brush. It was 
the playground of rabbits and quail. 

Mr Baldwin was already a wealthy man, as wealth 
was computed before bonanza times, and he could now 
afford himself a holiday. In 1867, therefore, we find 
him, in company with a party of Englishmen, en route 
for India, where he engaged in a little elephant and 
tiger hunting, both of which were quite to his taste, 
and the more so as he was a quick and unerring 
marksman. On his homeward journey he passed 
some weeks in China and Japan, and of all of these 
countries his descriptions are full of interest, for not 
least among Mr Baldwin's faculties is the faculty of 

Beturning to San Francisco, he continued his real 
estate and minins; investments, meetino- in both di- 
rections with his usual success. For several years 
he had kept six or eight men constantly employed in 
prospecting, and in part through their reports, though 
only when confirmed by his own judgment, some of 
his most profitable investments were made. Mining- 
stock speculation was also assuming gigantic propor- 
tions, especially in the shares of the Comstock lode, 
presenting a wider scope for his speculative powers, 
while the activity and excitement attendant on this 
pursuit were congenial to his strong, energetic nature. 


He soon withdrew from the real estate market and 
for a time concentrated his attention on mining. He 
made a thorough study of the Comstock mines, made 
himself perfectly familiar with their characteristics, 
and acquired a knowledge of tlie subject that enabled 
him to gain the mastery in many a gigantic stock deal. 
In the earlier da^'^s of the Comstock, when Ophir, 
Gould and Curry, Savage, and other favorite mines 
were yielding bullion at the rate of millions a year, 
Baldwin gathered a full share of the golden harvest 
which fell only to the lot of the shrewdest and best- 
informed operators. As in real estate, so in mining 
stocks, he had learned not only when to bu}^ but when 
to sell, the latter by far the more difficult lesson of the 
two. He had learned also how to avoid the snares and 
pitfalls which the manipulators of the stock market too 
often laid for the unwary. And here it may be said 
that with such manipulations Baldwin had little to 
do; that neither in mining nor other transactions was 
it his custom to engage in anything that savored of in- 
direction. What he did was to buy and sell stocks on 
reliable information — on information which he knew 
to be reliable from his own personal observation and 
from the advice of his own experts, and not in the 
sense in which such information has become a by- 
word among the community. That in doing so he 
avoided the snares which beset the path of the spec- 
ulator \vas due to his superior forethought and saga- 
city, to his knowledge of men and of the business in 
which he was concerned, to the fact that he never al- 
lowed himself to be carried away by the excitement of 
the hour, that his dealings were based on a definite 
and well-considered system, and not on the hearsay 
of all and suixhy who repeated merely the idle gossip 
of the street. In truth, his transactions were rather 
in the nature of investments than of speculation, for 
investments in mines of ascertained merit can be 
made almost as safely as in real estate, and at times 
with a prospect of far more profitable returns. 


The ethics of stock speculation is not my purpose 
to discuss; but certain it is that in one form or other 
men have speculated almost from time immemorial 
and will continue to speculate so long as time shall 
endure. Whether they select, as their basis, wheat 
or corn, oil or pork, whether real estate or railroad 
shares, or, as in Europe, government bonds, the spirit 
and intent are essentially the same. But there are 
degrees in speculation, some of them being gambling 
pure and simple, or with intent to defraud by false 
representations by working on the credulity of the 
public; others as unobjectionable as the most legiti- 
mate of commercial transactions. To gain control or 
purchase an interest in a mine that one knows to be 
possessed of merit, and to dispose of that control or 
interest at a profit, is surely a legitimate transaction, 
and only in such transactions has Baldwin engaged. 
By none has he been accused of distributing ' points' 
to entice the unwary into buying, at extravagant 
figures, stocks that he wished to dispose of. On 
the contrary, he has often given such advice as has 
made the fortune of others — has made others rich al- 
most against their will. Nor was it merely by good 
fortune that his millions wore acquired, and to none, 
as I have said, was the epithet 'lucky' more unjustly 
applied. If he was lucky it was the luck that came 
of his own making and thought, the qualities with 
which nature had endowed him, his keenness and di- 
rectness of purpose, that neither swerved nor faltered 
until its object had been reached. 

But to return to the Comstock. After a few 
years of marvellous prosperity, the glory of the great 
lode departed for a time, and evil days befell the silver 
state. The yield of bullion had sunk from the millions 
into the thousands; dividends were few and small and 
far between; but assessments were levied with unfail- 
ing regularity, and in such amounts as sorely to tax 
the patience and pockets of share-holders. The upper 
levels were no longer productive; as depth was at- 


tained no further deposits were unearthed, and men 
said that the Comstock was exhausted. 

But the Comstock was fiir from exhausted. On 
the contrary, this era of depression was followed by a 
yield such as had never before been known in the 
history of rjininsf. From the Crown Point and 
Belcher were extracted between 1871 and 1876 more 
than 1,000,000 tons of ore, producing about $60,000,- 
000 in bullion, and in dividends $26,000,000, or nearly 
as much in bullion, and some 40 per cent more in 
dividends than had thus far been taken from the entire 
lode. Meanwhile the great bonanza had been un- 
earthed in Consolidated Virsjinia, extending far into 
the ground of the California, adjacent on the north, 
and from this $130,000,000 has been added to the 
world's stock of the precious metals, with a total in 
dividends of nearly $80,000,000. Such changes in 
the condition of the mines were of course attended 
with corresponding fluctuations in the value of their 
stock; Crown Point, for instance, selling at $2 or $3 
a share in the autumn of 1870 and at $1,800 in the 
spring of 1872; Consolidated Virginia at $20 or $30 
in January 1874, at $700 in January 1875, and at 
10 cents a share a few years later. Meantime for- 
tunes were lost or won; lost, as a rule, by the public 
and won by the manipulators. Among those who 
profited by these fluctuations — profited more, in pro- 
portion to the amount of his investments, than any 
of the operators — was Mr Baldwin, no one operating 
larger. At one time he owned one tenth of the entire 
stock of the so-called bonanza mines, or about 20,000 
shares in all, purchasing only after developments were 
assured, yet at moderate figures, and not waiting for 
the extreme prices reached during a period of specu- 
lative excitement such as has never been witnessed 
on the Pacific coas 

But it was rather through his connection with the 
Ophir mine and mining stock that his reputation as 
an operator was established, and then it was that the 


term 'lucky' was applied to him by one of those 
sensational journalists who are ever ready to pander 
to the vitiated taste of the public. When Ophir was 
quoted about $8 a share, he purchased all that came 
on the market, acting on his judgment and on the 
information of his experts. But presently he found 
the supply so great that, as he relates, he began to 
think a manufactory of stock certificates had been es- 
tablished for his special accommodation. Something 
was wrong, and to find out what it was, he procured 
and sent to his assayer samples of the rock for the 
milling of which the stockholders had been heavily 
assessed. Out of fifty of these samples only one 
showed even traces of gold or silver. Thereupon, 
having secured the control, he caused the superintend- 
ent to be dismissed, and appointed in his place the 
man under whose directions was developed a valuable 
body of ore. All this may be luck ; but it is a kind 
of luck which w^ould appear to be flavored somewhat 
strongly with discernment and sagacity. 

After the development was made, but before its 
extent was ascertained, Mr Baldwin still continued 
his purchase, and, as was ever his custom, gave oth- 
ers an opportunity to benefit by his own success. To 
one man, as appears on his books, he handed a check 
for $570,000, and to others from $50,000 to $100,- 
000, as their profits on stocks bought for them with 
his own money and at his own suggestion. To James 
R. Keene he gave an order to purchase a further 
interest in the Ophir, promising to pa}^ him an ad- 
vance on all that he secured, and this he did, relievincj 
him of 1,000 shares at $60 a share. From the same 
party he afterward bought 11,000 shares, seller 60 — • 
that is, allowing Keene 60 days in which to deliver 
the stock. 

This was in 1874, and as was then supposed, 
Sharon, Ralston, and Jones held control of the mine. 
But by a recent decision of a New York court it 
had been held that any one purchasing stock, whether 


holding it in pocsession or for future delivery, had the 
right to vote it at an election, and with the thousands 
of shares at his command, Mr Baldwin was now in a 
position to secure the control. There was, however, 
still another aspirant in the person of James G. 
Flood, with his partners of the bonanza firm. At 
this time Lissak was president of the company, and 
by virtue of his office claimed two votes, one as presi- 
dent and one as trustee — a claim before unheard of, 
and for which there was no shadow of justification. 
But such men stay not at trifles when their interests 
are at stake, and at the bidding of the bonanza firm, 
Lissak called a meeting of stockholders for the pur- 
pose of appointing an extra trustee, whose vote, with 
his own, would turn the election in favor of Flood and 
his associates. 

On hearing how matters stood, Baldwin obtained 
an injunction to restrain the proceedings. The meet- 
ing had been called for eleven o'clock on the morning 
of a certain day; as the hour approached he was in- 
formed by his attorney, Reuben H. Lloyd, that it would 
be impossible to serve the papers before a quarter past 
eleven, and by that time it would be too late. " All 
right," he said, turning to Lloyd after a moment's 
pause, " I can arrange that. I will go there and get 
up a fight. That will stop things until you come with 
the papers." He then went to a friend of his, named 
George G. Graj^son, and told him to put a pistol in 
his pocket and go with him, as trouble was brewing 
and he proposed to have fair play — this, of course, 
without the least intent to make use of the pistol. 
They reached the place a few minutes before the 
meeting had been called, and to prevent undue inter- 
ference Baldwin locked the door. To this Lissak 
objected, and during the altercation that ensued, 
Baldwin struck him a blow that knocked him under 
the table. By the confusion that followed, some de- 
lay was caused, and before order was reestablished the 
sheriff arrived and served the papers. 


A few days later notice was served on Baldwin's 
superintendent, Samuel Curtis, of his removal from 
the office, the president's brother being appointed in 
his stead, and demanding possession of the mine. 
But, refusing to acknowledge his authority, Curtis, 
acting under Baldwin's instructions, telegraphed to 
his secretary to shut down the mine, ordering the 
chief engineer to stop the machinery for the moment 
by removing the boxes of the engines. Thereupon 
he took the next train for Virginia City, and supported 
by a body of armed men, hired at from $30 to $40 a 
day and well supplied with Winchester rifles and re- 
volvers, was instructed to hold the fort at all hazard. 
On the morninof after his arrival, the boxes and en- 
gines were readjusted and work was in progress as 
usual. All this, it may be said, though done under 
Baldwin's instructions, was also in accordance with 
those of a majority of the directors. Meanwhile the 
matter had been placed in the hands of several of the 
, most prominent legal firms on the Pacific coast. At 
length the dispute was adjusted, Baldwin receiving 
for his interest $2,500,000 and resigning the control 
to the bonanza firm. Although the money has long 
since been paid, the note which secured it is still in 
his possession, and some day, as he says, may grace 
the walls of his hotel, together with the other curios- 
ities there exhibited. 

And now, instead of being classed as one of the 
luckiest of men — though this term was never applied 
to him except by his detractors — Mr Baldwin began 
to be regarded as one of the shrewdest and most far- 
sighted, and that his ability was not overrated he 
gave proof in many a well-contested struggle. 
Though what is termed in stock-exchange parlance 
'an outsider' — that is, one not connected with any 
clique or ring — he waged successful war against the 
so-called 'bank crowd,' chief among whom was Wil- 
liam C. Balston, cashier of the bank of California. 

Again on this occasion the bone of contention was 


Ophir, the stock of which depreciated in value a mil- 
Hon or more of dollars within forty-eight h)urs, and 
advanced with equal rapidity. Hopino- to find hhn 
unprepared, the bonanza firm sent word one da}'' to 
his broker to make good his account at the Nevada 
bank by three o'clock in the afternoon. At the mo- 
ment the market was demoralized ; but not so Mr 
Baldwin, who, so far from being forced to sell at a 
sacrifice, could at one time have netted a profit of 
many millions, though to have thrown his shares on 
the market would have produced a panic, and, as in 
other instances, he would not sacrifice the public in- 
terests to serve his own. Finally, however, he retired 
from the fray with $5,000,000 added to his possessions; 
and to the defeat inflicted on Ralston and his col- 
leagues, coupled with the fact that Ophir's promised 
bonanza did not materialize, was mainly due the col- 
lapse of the greatest financial institution on the Pacific 

Never will the people of San Francisco forget tne 
'black Friday' of August 26, 1875, when it was 
whispered about in tremulous breath tha.t the bank of 
California had closed its doors. At first men would 
not believe the report, for the bank had long been 
considered the most stable of all our monetary insti- 
tutions, and that it should collapse was no more 
thought possible than that the skies should fall or the 
mountains be cast into the seas. But the rumor was 
only too true, and on the afternoon of this day the 
panic fear that spread through the city was further 
intensified by the death, and as was supposed the 
suicide, of the cashier, by whose indiscretion — to use 
no harshfr phrase — the catastrophe had been brought 
about. The streets were filled with a suririno^ nml- 
titude, a dense, black mass of terrified and despairing 
men, for all were aware that a dire calamity had be- 
fallen the commerce and industries of the city, the 
state, and the coast. It was in truth a grewsome 
spectacle, such as never before had been witnessed in 


this our western metropolis, and never, lat us hope, 
shall be witnessed again. 

But let us hear the part which Mr Baldwin played 
in the rehabilitation of the bank of California, for his 
was a leading part, and by him and a few other public- 
spirited men was averted a financial crisis such as 
would have paralyzed the entire community for many 
a year to come. For two or three years he had been 
among its largest depositors, having at one time 
$3,600,000 to his credit, bearing interest at nine per 
cent. When the bank closed its doors he was its 
heaviest creditor, with a balance of more than $2,000,- 
000. He was then in the eastern states, and the 
fact that the bank was paying such large interest had 
long caused him uneasiness. After largely reducing 
his account, he telegraphed for $400,000 more; but 
this he never received, for an hour later a message 
from his attorney was placed in his hands advising 
him of the bank's suspension. In his answer, at once 
despatched by wire, he said: "Protect my interests, 
but do nothing to hurt Ralston." Thereupon he im- 
mediately returned to San Francisco. Says R. H. 
Lloyd : '' I asked Ralston what was the actual con- 
dition of the bank; he said: 'You and I have had 
several transactions, and I always told you the truth, 
didn't I ?' I said: 'Yes, sir, I think you always did.' 
He then said : ' There is dollar for dollar in this bank 
for the depositors, if properly managed, but very 
little for the stockholders.' Believing that, I went to 
Sharon and suggested the idea of subscribing money 
and putting the bank on its feet; he eagerly seized 
the idea. We went to work at it, and when Baldwin 
came back, he said, 'You did just right,' and took 
hold of it. Mr Mills and his attorney wanted to 
put the bank in insolvency, which we strenuously 
resented, and succeeded in stopping." 

A heroic effort was made to repair the disaster, 
and T am doing no injustice to others when I say that, 
but for Mr Baldwin's cooperation, this effort would 



have been in vain. Night after night he passed at 
the residence of Wilhani Sharon, in company with his 
attorney, Reuben H. Lloyd, and Michael Reece, often 
working until daylight surprised them at the task, 
while devisino; means for brino-ing- order out of tlio 
chaos. None others were present, either among de- 
positors or directors, and by Mr Baldwin and his 
colleagues was assumed the load of the bank's respon- 
sibilities and obligations. Every argument was used, 
every inducement offered, to secure the forbearance 
and aid of other capitalists, to enlist their sympathies 
in a project which has since been acknowledged as 
amonsf the greatest financial achievements of the ao-e. 
Nor was it until after a severe and protracted strain — 
a strain not only on their resoui"ces, but on their vital 
powers, taxed as they were to the utmost limit of hu- 
man endurance — that their purpose was finally accom- 
plished. At length, however, it was accomplished, a 
fund being subscribed to reorganize the bank to pay 
the depositors and to resume its business with a new 
and sufficient capital. To this fund Baldwin and 
Sharon contributed each $1,000,000, Lloyd $100,000, 
and others as means and inclination dictated. 

In bringing about this result, it is the opinion of 
those best informed on the matter that Mr Baldwin 
ha,s not received his due share of recognition. Not 
only did he, as the heaviest creditor of the bank, refrain 
from attaching its property for the $2,000,000 at his 
credit, but risked an additional $1,000,000 in the pro- 
ject for its rehabilitation, a project which by the com- 
munity at large was deemed well nigh impossible of 
achievement. Nor did he stop here; but long con- 
tinued to give the institution the benefit of his moral 
support. On the very day when its doors were re- 
opened, while timid creditors were withdrawing their 
deposits, he placed on the counter all the money he 
could carrj'^some $40,000 in double eagles, and 
otherwise aided in restoring confidence among the 
famt hearted, many of whom wore thus prevented 


from claslng their accounts. AVliatcvcr may have 
been theViiotives of other far-seeing men, whose for- 
bearance may have been exercised and their respon- 
sibihties assumed to avert financial ruin, or in the 
expectation of benefits which might accrue to them 
later, no such motives can justly be attributed to Mr 
Baldwin. Kather was he actuated by sympathy for 
the fallen, by a becoming sentiment of pride — a pride 
that woukl show to the world, to enemies as well as 
friends, what a deed these men of California were 
capable of accomplishing — a deed that had for its ob- 
ject the salvation of his adopted state, that should 
prevent a collapse which would have shaken the com- 
nmnity to its centre, a catastrophe which years would 
not have effaced. 

And now let us turn once more to Mr Baldwin's 
investments m lands and buildings, whereby he has 
given to the Pacific coast metropolis one of the largest 
and by far the most handsome of its hotels and the- 
atres, with other caravansaries on the shores of Lake 
Tahoe, and amid the mountains near whose base Los 
Angeles sits enthroned. Near to that city he has 
also opened for settlement a tract of irrigated land 
that will sustain in comfort many hundreds of families. 

In 1873 was begun, and in 1877 completed, on 
Market street, San Francisco, at the junction of 
Powell, the Baldwin hotel, at a total cost, including 
site and furniture, of more than $3,000,000. With 
two or three others it sliares the distinction of being 
the best-appointed structure of its kind west of the 
Mississippi. In shape it is rhomboidal, in architecture 
in the style of the French renaissance, with Corin- 
thian columns and mansard roof, six stories high, and 
surmounted by a dome 162 feet in height, with 
numerous turrets of lesser altitude. The rooms on 
the ground-floor are paved, and wainscoted with mar- 
ble tiles and decorative w^ork of the finest description, 
the appointments of the bar and billiard-rooms being 
unequalled by any other on the coast. The decorative 


work of all these rooQis is artistically carried out; each 
of the windows opening on the street is of itself a 
work of art; between the several offices and rooms are 
swinging glass doors, figured with beautiful designs ; 
while set in the gilt screen that separates the lounging- 
rooni from the office are three stained-glass panels of 
exquisite workmanship, representing scenes in Mr 
Baldwin's journey across the plains, one of them a 
picture of his wagon and team with the name E. J. 
Baldwin marked on the canvas, another depicting the 
Indian attack on his camp. In the bar-room hangs a 
life-size picture of the famous stallion Emperor of 
Norfolk, painted by H. H. Cross of New York; in 
other portions of the room are large paintings ot 
Mount Shasta, and the Santa Anita rancho, the lat- 
ter representing Mr Baldwin surrounded by his dogs, 
with his little daughter playing near him. To the 
left of the bar is a cabinet of curiosities well worth 
examination, witli some fifteen or twenty racing-plates 
won by celebrated racers, as Lucky B., Volante, Los 
Angeles, and others. Here also is the knife with 
which Judge Terry stabbed Hopkins; it is of beauti- 
ful workmanship, and enclosed in a finely chased 
sheath. Amon«- other interesting^ curios is the menu 
of the Sharon dinner given in 1878, engraved on an 
oblong plate of solid silver. In the reading-room is a 
landscape by Hill portraying a scene in the redwoods, 
and a cabinet of minerals, gathered from all parts of 
the coast, including many fine specimens of silver, lead, 
iron, and gold ores, some of them gathered by Mr 
Baldwin himself The broad stairway leading from 
the office to the second floor is composed of solid slabs 
of marble with balustrades of variesi-ated woods. On 
the landing is a stained-glass window, representing in 
many-colored glasses the coat of arms of California — 
one of the finest pieces of decorative work in the 

There is perhaps no city where hotel patrons con- 
sist more largely of families than in San Francisco. 


The Baldwin hotel is designed especially to meet 
the wants of such patrons, and the rooms are so 
planned that any number desired can be included in a 
separate suite. Prior to its erection Mr Baldwin 
visited many of the eastern cities, and personally in- 
spected their hotels, with a view to embody in his 
own all the most recent appliances for comfort, luxury, 
health, amusement, and homelike entertainment. 

The Baldwin theatre, acknowledged to be the most 
comfortable and tastefully embellished west of Chicago, 
was modelled after Booth's theatre in New York, and 
both as to design and execution ranks as the most 
skilful effort of an architect who has long won for 
himself a national reputation. But this well-known 
temple of the drama it is unnecessary here to describe 
in detail, for there are few among the residents of the 
metropolis or among its visitors who have not ad- 
mired the arrangements of its auditorium, where every 
seat commands a view of the stage, the rich uphol- 
sterv, which gives to it an air of warmth and comfort, 
the excellence of its acoustic properties, the ceiling, 
frescoed by Garriboldi, and the drop-curtain, whereon 
was depicted by the same artist the closing scene of 

In addition to the Tallac house, with its eight 
thousand acres of woodland on the shore of Lake 
Tahoe, and the Oakwood hotel at Arcadia, in the 
highlands of Los Angeles county, the former a 
summer and the latter a winter resort, Mr Baldwin 
is the owner of valuable business and residence prop- 
erties in the cities of Los Angeles and San Francisco. 
At Bear valley, in San Bernardino county, he has 
tj,OCO acres of land, with water rights and mining in- 
terests yet almost undeveloped. But of all his landed 
possessions, the one in which he takes most pride is 
the Santa Anita rancho, situated in San Gabriel 
valley, about twelve miles northeast of Los Angeles, 
at the base of the Sierra Madre. It is a spot whose 
attractions, both natural and artificial, it would be 


difficult to exaggerate, and we know not whether 
most to admire its vast extent, the magnitude and 
diversity of its interests, the beauty of its situation, 
the skin with which its various operations have been 
planned, or the wellnigh perfect generalship with 
which they have been executed. 

It was in 1875, when on the way to his Bear valley 
mining property that Mr Baldwin first saw the San 
Gabriel valley. It was then covered with a wild, 
tangled growth, and without a human habitation, save 
a few adobe houses scattered here and there; but on 
the plains was a magnificent crop of wild oats; and 
this proved to him conclusively that here was an op- 
portunity for development. For the Santa Anita 
tract of some 8,500 acres, he paid $200,000, later ac- 
quiring others until the entire rancho known under 
that name amounted to 54,000 acres. The estate 
occupies an almost level plateau, with an average ele- 
vation of about 1,800 feet, and a slope of not more 
than 40 feet to the mile. The Sierra Madre forms its 
northern boundary, towering rugged and snow-capped 
above it, and shutting out the bleak winds that occa- 
sionally blow from tJie north. At the base of the 
mountains the land is rolling, forming low hills, whose 
scattered growth of oak borders the broad stretch of 
cultivated e^round below. Throusfh the centre, runnins: 
from the county road on the south to the mountains 
on the north, is an avenue fifty feet wide bordered 
on the right by a long line of dark eucaljqitus trees, 
and on the left by palm ferns, while through the ave- 
nue itself extend rows of light-green pepper trees. 
The soil is a gravelly loam, mingled with decomposed 
granite and c^uartz, an admixture peculiarly adapted 
to viticulture and the citrus fruits. Frosts are less 
frequent here than on lower lands, and the hills to the 
south are of sufficient height to protect the valley 
from direct ocean winds and foss, without cuttinof off 
the current altogether, which in the form of a modi- 
fied sea-breeze blows in summer from ten o'clock until 

C. B.— III. 23 


five. The rainfall is somewhat greater than in places 
a short distance to the south and west. 

The water system, planned by Mr Baldwin without 
the assistance of engineers, has been built up grad- 
ually as the place has developed, and as the need of 
water has increased, now constituting one of its most 
important advantages. There are three pipe lines, 
each obtaining its supply from separate sources in the 
mountains to the north, running into the canons, and 
terminating in a laro-e tunnel in the mountain side, in 
which there are large springs. From the main aque- 
ducts the water is conducted to all portions of the 
estate so as to irrigate most effectually whenever irri- 
gation is required. There are also about 200 artesian 
wells, each with a flow of many thousand gallons a 
day. The artesian belt comprises some 2,000 acres, 
in any part of which water can be struck at a depth 
of about 100 feet. 

The orchards are located in the southwestern por- 
tion of the estate, and contain nearly all the varieties 
of semi-tropical and deciduous fruits. In the orange 
grove are about 500 acres, of which the greater part 
is planted in trees now twenty years old, with an ad- 
dition in which the trees are of fourteen years' growth, 
forming one of the oldest plantations in California. 
All were selected by Mr Baldwin, and the grove was 
laid out according to his ideas. This has been indeed 
his special care, and in no other feature of his farm 
does he take so much pride. Nor has his care been 
unrewarded, for some of the trees have produced at a 
single crop as much as 18 to 20 boxes apiece, with an 
average profit per acre of from $1,400 to $1,G00. In 
an adjoining nursery are 1,000,000 young orange trees, 
which can be planted in this locality at any time of the 
year. There is besides a large grove of lemon trees 
bearing a choice quality of fruit. 

The walnut plantation was laid out in 1879, under 
the personal supervision of Mr Baldwin. The trees 
are forty foct apart and yet the boughs are all inter- 


locked and so laden with nuts that strong props are 
required to support them. Besides the EngUsh wal- 
nut tree, of which there are 3,000, there are soft-shell 
almonds, peach, pear, apricot, fig, and Japanese per- 
simmon trees, with a large plantation of olives, and 
of camphor, pepper, coffee, and tea plants. 

Adjoining are the vineyards and winery, where are 
made each year about 30,000 gallons of brandy and 
about 100,000 of wine, including port, angelica, zin- 
fandel, claret, white wines, and sherries. In the man- 
ufacture of brandy the greatest care is taken to 
produce the best results as to purity and flavor, thus 
commanding a high reputation and an extensive sale. 
Mr Baldwin absolutely refuses to sell his wines and 
brandies with a French label, as is the practice of many 
vintners, who send their best qualities thus marked to 
the east and to Europe, while the poorer descriptions 
are sold as California wine. The injury done to our 
wine trade by such short-sighted methods is incalcu- 
lable, and cannot be too strongly condemned. 

Mr Baldwin sells no brandy until it is five years 
old, and also stores the larger portion of his wines for 
as long a period. He has one largo brick building 
entirely devoted to the storage of sherr}^, and three 
wooden buildings for his other wines and brandies, 
each containing 50 enqiniious casks, capable of holding 
1,500 gallons apiece. "In one of these buildings are 
fifty-five gallon barrels of brandy; in another some 
very choice muscatel wine, eight years old, and re- 
served for guests. All the bottling and coopering is 
done at the winery. The vines, of wdiich there are 
700 acres, are of many varieties, with only twenty 
acres in mission grapes. Here, as elsewhere, there 
has been some trouble with fungus; but by judicious 
management it has been prevented from spreading, and 
is now no lono-er a source of annovance. 

A beverage of which Mr Baldwin manufactures a 
considerable quantity is orange champagne. The 
oranges are pressed and the liquor fermented at the 


winery, forming at this stage a colorless fluid like 
water, but with a strong orange flavor. It is then put 
into casks to be made into champagne and shipped to 
San Francisco, where it has become a popular drink, 
and is styled by connoisseurs the nectar of the gods. 
In neither orchard, vineyard, nor winery is an3'^thing 
wasted, even the oranofe seeds beino" collected at the 
end of the process, and sold for $1.25 a gallon. 

On another portion of the farm are cut about 2,500 
tons of hay a year, with a large quantity of alfalfa, 
the latter yielding several crops of from 15 to 20 tons 
to the acre. About two-thirds of this is used for 
home consumption, and the remainder is sold. Some 
28,000 sacks of grain are annually stored in the 
granary, but form only a portion of the crop. The 
harvesting of the various products lasts throughout 
the year. 

The quantity of live-stock on the Santa Anita 
rancho is very great. Grazing on the foothills at the 
base of the mountains are 20,000 sheep. For dairy 
purposes there are 2,000 cows, of which 100 are 
Jerseys, and nearly as many of the pure Devon breed, 
imported from abroad, with a considerable number of 
the Holstein, short-horn, and Durham breeds. From 
this dairy, which is run entirely by steam-power, and 
fitted with all the latest and most improved ma- 
chinery, both the farm and the hotel in San Francisco 
are furnished with butter. What remains finds a 
ready market at a dollar a roll the year round, and 
it is impossible even at that price to supply the de- 

In the breedino- of runninp- horses Mr Baldwin 
stands at the head of the Pacific coast. His first pur- 
chase was made in August 1874, when he bought the 
Kentucky-bred stallions Grinsted and Rutherford, 
paying for the former about $10,000 and for the latter 
$8,500. In the following spring he bought the 
thoroughbred mares Josie C. and Maggie Emerson, 
raised in Kentucky; and at Alexander's stud-farm at 


Woodburn, Kentuck}^ he purchased for breeding pur- 
poses the six yearling- filUes Jennie D., Blossom, Clara 
D., Santa Anita, Glenita, and Ophir. In 1877 he 
added to his stud several other mares, amonof them 
Jennie B., Experiment, Athola, and Sister Annie. 
With these he determined to try whether he could 
not raise even better horses than were produced in the 
blue-grass state, for, in his opinion, now generally ac- 
cepted, California possessed several important advan- 
tages over the east. Mr Baldwin was not only a 
pioneer in this business, but the first one to compete 
for honors on the eastern turf, where each year he 
has from 25 to 30 horses, whose averasfe winnino-s 
are not far from $100,000 a year. He believes that 
in time. eastern breeders will send to California to pur- 
chase their choicer stock,, just as they have hitherto 
gone to Kentucky for that purpose. 

The Santa Anita stud comprised, in 1891, about_ 
54 brood mares, the celebrated stallions Grinsted, 
Rutherford, Emperor of Norfolk, The Hook, Gano, 
Amigo, and Verano; the geldings Albert C. and Can- 
non Ball, and the trotting horses Baldy, Saint James, 
and Kitty Wink. The Emperor of jSTorfolk is a no- 
ble animal, with one of the finest records in the annals 
of the American turf, having won in 1888 the Amer- 
ican Derby, the Drexel, and the Sheridan stakes, 
all the same year — the only horse that has accom- 
plished such a feat. He is a beautiful light bay, 
weighing about 1,100 pounds; was raised by Theo- 
dore Winters at his place near Sacramento, and was 
sold by him to Baldwin for $2,525. 

Althouof'h in a measure he reofards his stables as a 
money proposition, Mr Baldwin takes great pride in 
his stud. In the raising of running horses, to which 
he has almost exclusivel}^ directed his efforts, he is a 
facile princejjs, since, in proportion to tlie size of his 
stud, he has been the most successful man in America. 
It is a very important work that he has accom[)lished 
in connection with these stables, one of the most im- 


portant of all his undertakings, the most far-reaching 
and beneficial in its results to California. From the 
success that attended his efforts at a time when he 
was the pioneer horse-breeder of the coast, other 
men of w^ealth have been led to engage in the rais- 
ing of running and trotting horses, with the result 
that horse-raisino^ is now one of the leading- industries 
of the state, and California is known in both hemi- 
spheres for the quality and exploits of its stock. We 
may indeed say that the honor of producing a Sunol 
was in a large measure made possible by Mr Bald- 
win's sagacity and enterprise. 

Mr Baldwin's residence lies not far from the or- 
chards. After passing through avenues bordered 
with shade trees, through walls of evergreen hedges, 
and under trees of semi-tropical foliage, one suddenly 
sees before him a broad expanse of lawn, laid out with 
brilliantly colored flower-beds, and dotted with orna- 
mental trees and ferns, with palms and weeping wil- 
lows. The house is approached through a walk 
arched over by foliage, in the middle of which, under 
a roofing of old mission tiles, is an ancient bell from 
the mission San Gabriel. A little beyond is an arti- 
ficial lake eight acres in extent, clear as crystal, and 
bordered with rushes and trees. On its edge is J\Ir 
Baldwin's residence, a quaint one-story edifice of Jap- 
anese design, surrounded by a low porch hung with 
lanterns, with a flight of marble steps in front, on 
either side of which are two artesian wells, overflow- 
ing into a marble aqueduct adjacent to the dwelling, 
and almost hidden amono^ the brioht-colored flower- 
ing creepers. The windows are of plate-glass with a 
stained-glass border, in which are represented various 
objects of art. The dining-hall and kitchen are in a 
separate building, about forty yards to the left. 
Around tlie house are trees that are seldom seen in 
California, as beech, elm, black walnut, and the maple, 
such as Baldwin remembers surrounded his father's 
dwelling-place. Among them is a beautiful weep- 


ing willow, which has a remarkable history. It was 
cut some ^^ears ago from a tree at Napoleon's tomb, 
and when presented to Mr Baldwin was apparently 
dry and sapless, but after he had planted it, in due 
time it began to sprout and is now a large tree with 
graceful branches reaching nearly to the ground. 

The scene is one of fairy-like loveliness; not only 
the little bijou residence and its surroundings, but the 
entire estate, with its groves and vineyards, its golden 
fruit and waving harvests, its shaded drives and vistas 
of mountain peak and valley, carrying the beholder 
into an ideal region, calm and peaceful as the fabled 
realm of Rasselas, where soft vernal airs induce for- 
getfulness of the din and turmoil, the crowded s-treets 
and selfish intensity, of city life. 

On the northern and eastern sides of the rancho 
several square miles have been subdivided into tracts 
of ten and twelve acres, which are sold at the rate of 
$200 per acre, twenty per cent in cash, and four per 
cent interest on the balance, the purchaser being 
allowed six years to complete the payment, during 
which time all taxes are paid by Baldwin. Before a 
deed is given the buyer must improve the land, and 
plant a certain number of trees. Water is furnished 
free the first year ; afterward at whatever rate the 
trustees of the water company may determine. All 
this land is of the best quality, with a rich soil capable 
of raising the finest description of fruit, or for making 
more speedy returns from crops of grain or alfalfa. 
The first land sold was on the northern portion of the 
rancho, where now lies the settlement of Sierra Madre, 
an attractive colony composed of small farms witli 
well-kept, avenues planted with shade trees, and home- 
like cottages surrounded by trim and tasteful gardens. 

In 1885, some 90 acres were sold at Monrovia, on 
the eastern side of the estate. This was afterward 
subdivided into town lots, and within six months from 
the time the first stake was driven, there was on the 
tract, and on adjacent lands sold by Baldwin, 3,000 


inhabitants, with two banks, a business block, and a 
street-car line. All of Baldwin's sales have been 
made in small tracts, for the most part on time, and 
with almost any term of payment desired by the pur- 
chaser. There has not been a single foreclosure ; nor 
are there among all the people now living on these 
lands any who have fault to find with their purchase, 
or with the proprietor's business methods. 

Throuf^h the entire estate from east to west runs 
the line of the Santa Fe railroad, with the station of 
Santa Anita near the western border. Right of way 
was granted free of cost, for its owner foresaw that 
the road would be of untold benefit to his property. 
The Monrovia Arcadia and Pasadena railroad tra- 
verses the farm, connecting the colon}^ of Arcadia in 
the eastern portion with the suburbs of Los Angeles. 
There are also several tracts upon which cars can run, 
connecting the various portions of the estate. 

An account of Santa Anita rancho would be in- 
complete without a few lines devoted to the subject 
of its management. Mr Baldwin may be termed its 
general-in-chief, as well as its proprietor, for he has 
been not only its creator, its engineer, its landscape 
gardener, and the designer of its orchards, vineyards, 
stables, winery, and hydraulic system, but he also 
directs, and during a portion of the time personally 
supervises, the workings of its multifarious interests. 
Baldwin is one who trusts his fellow-man, allowing 
all in whom he has confidence a certain latitude in 
executing his orders, though never permitting his 
employes to assume responsibilities without first con- 
sulting him. Over all his vast interests he exercises 
a general supervision, is the man -who pulls the strings, 
and knows exactly what is behig done in each depart- 
ment. His chief-of-staff is H. A. Unruh, the very 
competent and energetic manager of the rancho. He 
is a man of some forty years of age, far-seeing, shrewd, 
broad in his ideas, penetrating in his judgment of men ; 
and no one could wish for a more faithful steward for 


his possessions, or a more aula lieutenant in carrying 
out his plans. 

Besides the Santa Anita ranclio, Mr Baldwin owns, 
as I have said, some 6,000 acres of land in Bear val- 
ley, thirty miles northeast of San Bernardino, pur- 
chased together with an interest in a mining property 
in 1873. At first they were held by a joint-stock 
company, with himself as principal stockholder, but a 
few years afterward he became the sole proprietor, 
expending large amounts in building roads and pro- 
curinsf water for his mills. Tliouoh for a time re- 
garded almost as worthless, the land needs only water 
to become valuable for pasture and for raising decid- 
uous fruits. On the eastern side of the valley, and 
almost in the centre of the tract, is a lake four and a 
half miles long, a mile in width, and filled with water 
the year round, through the melting of the snows in 
the mountains adjacent. While passing to and from 
his mine, its owner became impressed with the idea 
that by tapping the lake with a tunnel, its waters 
could be convej'cd to the government lands adjoining 
and to the desert lands beyond. This project lie pro- 
poses to carry into effect, showing intending settlers 
what lands are vacant, and contracting to supply them 
with water. Under the laws of the United States a 
section of such land can be secured on condition of 
expending one dollar an acre for four years, and when 
supplied with water may be converted into a comfort- 
able and productive homestead. In the valley, at an 
elevation of 7,500 feet above the sea-level, is a hot 
spring, near which Baldwin proposes to build a sum- 
mer resort, for the climate is nowhere excelled, and 
in the neighborhood is some of the finest scenery in 
southern California. 

In conclusion, let us turn to his domestic life, with 
a brief description of his appearance and characteris- 
tics, together with his views on the current topics of 
tlie day. Mr Baldwin has been four times married. 
By his first wife, whose name has already been men- 


tioned, he had two daughters, one of whom died in 
infancy and the other was wedded to Mr Harold, the 
son of a celebrated Philadelphia physician. His sec- 
ond wife was a Miss Cochrane of New Orleans, and 
his third a Miss Dexter, by whom he had one 
daughter, born in 1878, a bright and attractive child, 
who has always been as the very light of her father's 
eyes. His fourth choice was Lillie C. Bennett, the 
daughter of the w^ell-known architect. 

Mr Baldwin is about five feet ten inches in height; 
and though he weighs a hundred and seventy-five 
pounds he is slight rather than stout in appearance, 
the weight being concentrated in bone and muscle. 
He does not seem to have one ounce of superfluous 
flesh, but looks rather as though he were trained to a 
fine point, like one of his own race-horses, and ready 
for any call that may be made on his strength and 
endurance. His features are regular and expressive, 
but somewhat sharp and clear-cut; the forehead 
arched and lofty; the eyes of a brownish hue, keen 
and penetrating, but kindly in expression. On his 
face is the stamp of power, of firmness and indomitable 
will, the w^ill of a self-made and self-reliant man, of 
one who has perfect control of himself and is well 
fitted to assume the control of others. 

In manner and conversation he is singularly modest 
and unassuming. He talks in a quiet tone, with gen- 
tle and modulated voice, expressing himself always 
with force and clearness, and often with pungency 
and humor. While the general tenor of his discourse 
is tranquil, self-contained, and deliberate, witliout 
waste of words, and yet without the least attempt at 
being laconic or oracular, at times, when he becomes 
especially interested in the subject under discussion, 
he warms into animation, and then it is that his re- 
marks are most strongly tinged with humor and sar- 
casm. He is an excellent listener, but listens with 
the manner of one whose business compels bim to 
see many people, and to hear many thmgs ; and while 


he is talking the hearer may notice occasionally an 
expression on his face as though he were drawing 
himself inward. With all his unaffected modesty, ho 
is not a man who undervalues himself, or one who 
does not appreciate the part that he has played as a 
builder of the commonwealth. He takes pride in 
recalling his past history, in talking about his farm, 
his hotel, his manifold interests; and he asserts, as a 
man should do, his claims on the respect and good- 
will of the public for that which he has accomplished 
for the general welfare no less than for his own. 

The writer of this biography was not a little sur- 
prised when first he met him. " Here is a man," he 
said to himself, " who has a thousand detractors, a 
large part of whom never saw him, a man whom so 
many delinfht in decrvino- • and yet how modest his 
bearing, how kindly his manner, how free from arro- 
gance!" And a moment later he heard these words 
fall from his lips, in the same unostentatious phrase 
in which everything else had been uttered: " I never 
treat a man according to the clothes he has on, or tlio 
money he possesses, I am always as civil to a hod- 
carrier or to a clay-laborer as to one whom I know to 
be worth millions ; if anything, I would show more 
courtesy to the former." 

A noteworthy trait in his character is loyalty to his 
friends. He does not care to have many intimates ; 
but those who have proved worthy of his confidence 
he trusts as he would trust himself, and he is ready 
to stand by them in any emergency. His kindliness 
has also been frequently shown toward men who had 
little more than a passing claim on his friendship, 
many of whom he has assisted to fortune by an oppor- 
tune word of advice. The same trait is displaj^ed 
in his private charities; not a few old employes or 
acquaintances of his earlier days are the recipients 
either of his bounty or of some sinecure oflfice by 
wiiich they are enabled to pass their last years in 
ease and comfort. The tone of appreciation and 


friendly respect in which his employes refer to hira is 
very noticeable. 

Another characteristic, and one which we would 
hardly expect to find in a man so largely absorbed in 
business, is his sensibility to the artistic and beautiful; 
and yet the evidences of this characteristic are nu- 
merous and patent, even to a stranger. No one can 
visit the Santa Anita rancho and view the fairy-like 
place which he has fashioned, without being convinced 
that the man who created this idyllic home must have 
other elements in his nature than those of the mere 
utilitarian and money-maker. The very trees tliat he 
has planted about the door in memory of his old 
home in the east show his susceptibility to the finer 
feelings of humanity. The Baldwin hotel and the 
character of its decorations are also evidences of 
greater force, for everything in the interior arrange- 
ments, down to the drapery in the parlors, and the 
frescoing on the walls, was chosen and superintended 
by himself 

Mr Baldwin is extremely sensitive to the influence of 
music. He is the owner of no less than fourteen or fif- 
teen pianos, one in each place wdiere he spends a portion 
of his time. At his rooms at the hotel there is one 
always standing open, and the music at hand with 
which he loves to be entertained. Any one who has 
seen him reclinino^ on the sofa, his thoughts on ini- 
portant matters, involved in the conversation, while 
his little girl toyed with his hair, might form some 
conception of a phase in his character that he would 
not otherwise suspect, and thus get a better view of 
tlie kind-hearted father and devoted husband. 

I wish to describe Mr Baldwin, neither as his ene- 
mies decry him nor as his friends extol him, but ex- 
actly as he is — neither as a demon nor a demi-god — 
but as one whose qualities are not unalloyed with the 
common failings of humanity, especially with such as 
miglit be expected in a man who has fought a rough- 
and-tiumble fight with the world for wellnigh a half- 


century. When fully roused he is a strong fighter, and 
is a[)t to prove himself a strong and bold ^Yinner. 
He is also a good hater when injured, and though he 
does not readily forget a wrong, he nev^er nurses his 
wratli; nor would he, after his anger has cooled, 
avenge an injury. Neither is there anything treach- 
erous about him; he does not deal in ambuscades, or 
assail his enemy behind his back. If he must attack 
he will walk straight up to his foe and strike him 
in the face, prepared to receive blow for blow. He 
was never known to run away ; but he does not assume 
the offensive, unless forced to do so in order to pro- 
tect his interests. When he encounters obstacles he 
tries to remove them quietly; but if he sees that he 
must fight to remove them, he does so with a force 
and vehemence that carries all before him. 

JNIr Baldwin takes pride in the fact that he has 
never been under an obligation to any man. He has 
been the creator of his own fortunes, making the cir- 
cumstances and controlling them. He possesses in an 
eminent degree what has been termed the genius of 
observation, he sees, more clearly than most men, 
both the advantages and disadvantages of a proposi- 
tion ; he looks far ahead, and detects possibilities 
where to others all is blank. Therefore, being a man 
full of restless, nervous energy, always alert, always 
looking for an advantageous opportunity for accom- 
plishing some new project, and when he perceives it, 
carr37ing it to completion with a concentration and 
strength of effort that, like faith, can remove moun- 
tains, it is not singular that in his undertakings he 
has met with almost uniform success. 

If we look for the key-note to a career which has 
marked him as one of the most successful men of his 
day, we shall find it, not in his good fortune, but in 
the strength of will that laughs at the caprices of for- 
tune, that has turned even fortune's frowns to his ad- 
vantage. Strength is indeed the most noticeable 
trait in his character ; when lie devotes himself to a 


purpose he does it with all the determination and per- 
severance that man can bring to bear, never becoming 
discouraged and never admitting the possibility of 

In the industrial activity of the state his personal 
force has been widely felt; and, measured by its results, 
his work will bear comparison with that of any among 
the founders and builders of our commonwealth. Fer- 
tile in ideas, he is equally ready with expedients to put 
them to practical use. Ceaselessly planning, his pro- 
jects take form at once in material creations, and grow 
ever wider and deeper with the exercise of his abilities. 
Highly vitalized in mind and body, he is one who loves 
labor, not only for its fruits, but for itself, and to few 
have been granted such capacity for severe and pro- 
tracted toil. No wonder that he has been for years 
the centre and inspiration of some of the leading enter- 
prises conceived by his own intelligence, and built up 
by his own untiring energy. For men of more 
sluggish temperament it is difficult to appreciate the 
capabilities of one with his highly strung nervous 
organization, one in whom habit has confirmed the 
tendency of his nature, has given to him the power 
of concentratinof his faculties to the utmost limit of 
tension. Possessing this gift, he is able to focus his 
entire strength on whatever he may have on hand, 
and then to turn from it instantly and devote himself 
to another and foreign task, without the least trace of 

There are men distinguished for their ability to 
plan, but without the faculty to execute; there are 
others who can execute but cannot devise. With 
Mr Baldwin, thought and action appear to be blended, 
as though the energy out of which the idea was born 
entered with quickened force into that which he under- 
took. Not least among the secrets of his success is 
tliis faculty of becomino" absorbed in whatever, for 
the moment, commands his attention. Wlien thus 
at work he forgets all else, is dead to all else, put- 


ting aside or overcoming obstacles by the very in- 
tensity of his concentration, and never troubling 
himself as to the opinion of others on questions which 
he deems fairly within his own province. Once seeing 
his way clearly, he never rests until his plans are 
converted into accomplished facts, and in doing so dis- 
plays an independence of thought and character that 
verges almost on the sublime. 

When we bear in mind the magnitude and variety 
of the undertakino-s in which he is interested — the 
Baldwin hotel, the theatre, the Tallac house, the Ar- 
cadia, the Santa Anita estate, tlie winery, the dairy, 
the orchards, the- studs, the Bear valley lands, the 
irrigation projects, the mining property — when we 
remember that everything which he has done has 
been on the largest scale, we cannot but wonder at 
the curious fate which has caused to be held in honor 
so many smaller men, some of whom have done nothing 
of importance, nothing of benefit to humanity, who 
are merely the accumulators and absorbers of the fruit 
of other men's toil. 

Yet, with all these vast undertakings, he is never 
at the limit of his ventures, but is constantly branching 
out into new enterprises. At this moment he has in 
view a number of extensive projects. One is the 
formation of a company for the manufacture of beet- Y 
sugar on the Santa Anita rancho, where he intends 
to set apart 5,000 acres for the purpose. He believes 
that portions of the estate are specially adapted to 
this industry, which, he thinks, will rapidly develop, 
requiring the labor of a large number of men, and 
furnishing a large quantity of sugar for exportation to 
the east. In Kern county Mr Baldwin is interested 
in two new projects, one for bringing in a supply of 
water for irrigation, and thus opening up a vast sec- 
tion of land of the best description for horticultural 
purposes; the other for planting an extensive tract, 
in which he is interested, witli oranges, olives, and 
other fruits. He has also a large share in two new 


inventions, not yet patented, one called a whispcrincj 
telephone, and an appliance of great prospective 
value for intensifying the sounds transmitted over the 
Avire, whereby it will be possible to conduct a con- 
versation in a whisper; the other an appliance for 
switching, by which one man will be enabled to do 
the work of forty or fifty. These are partly his own 

Notwithstanding all his great and varied projects, 
and the immense amount of time and labor required 
for their superintendence, it is surprising to observe 
how easily Mr Baldwin carries himself. Although 
he usually rises at six or seven, and devotes all the 
best hours of the day to business, yet he can abso- 
lutely separate himself from his work when he so 
desires. While in the midst of business at home, he 
can start for the east at a day's notice, and during his 
absence be untroubled by the cares he has left behind 
him. Of late it has been his custom to refuse to talk 
about business after seven in the evening, and with 
few exceptions he adheres to this rule, dismissing all 
such matters completely from his mind, and resting 
at nio'lit without allowino- any thouojht of them to 
disturb him. 

In all his habits he is temperate, and while he ap- 
preciates the good things of this life, is not a free-liver; 
in fact he could not be so, for this would be death 
to him and repugnant to his instincts and business 
methods. In a word, his self-restraint and self-poise 
are so firmly established as to have become a domi- 
nant feature in his character, influencing even the 
minor details of his conduct. He is, moreover, a 
constant reader, perusing the daily journals with a 
critical eye, and keeping himself thoroughly en rap- 
port witli the current topics of the day. \Yhen in 
the country he spends much of his time in driving. 
At his Santa Anita estate he has some twenty differ- 
ent styles of carriages, and is himself a good four-in- 
hand driver. But the recreation that he likes best is 


to strike over the hills on foot, with his gun on his 
shoulder, and hunt all day. Besides being a good 
shot he is an excellent walker, capable, indeed, of 
tiring almost any one who accompanies him. 

In his political views Mr Baldwin is a republican, 
and a thorough advocate of protection, though believ- 
ing that, while free trade would ruin this country, 
certain articles have been protected too much. "I 
would have everything that is produced in this coun- 
try free from taxation," he says, "and the United 
States under that system has prospered as no other 
country has ever done. But I would so regulate the 
tax on imports that our manufacturers should not 
have greater protection than is wholesome." As to 
foreign immigration he is of the opinion that it has 
already reached its proper limit, and that the lands 
still unoccupied should be kept in reserve for our 
growing population. He considers that if the foreign 
element should continue to increase for the next ten 
or twenty years in the same ratio as heretofore, it 
would constitute a serious danger to the country, and 
overtax its power of assimilation. 

On the Chinese question his views, derived largely 
from the results of his own observation, are worthy of 
being quoted m full. ''I think," he remarks, "they 
have been thus far an advantage to California. You 
may take, for instance, my experience in farming. I 
have helped to improve and develop the possibilities 
of the country ten years ahead of what they would 
have been if I had been dependent on white labor. 
Now ray ranch is a benefit not only to California 
but to tlie whole United States, for any one who will 
plant orchards and vineyards is a public benefactor. 
I could not have brought it to its present state of 
excellence without Chinese labor, for the reason that 
white men in California, havino- been used to receiv- 
ing $4 or $5 a day in the mines, won't go to work 
on a ranch for a dollar or a dollar and a lialf a day. 
That is one of the reasons why white labor m this 

C. B.-III. 21 


country has not been such a success as it ought to 
have been ; but I believe that the time has come to 
restrict Chinese immigration. I would not say that 
we should send all the Chinamen we have out of 
the country now, for if we did so we could not take 
care of our crops ; we would lose a good part of 
them. It is a common saying that if you discard 
Chinese labor you will have plenty of white labor; 
but if the Chinese labor were stopped, it would be 
seen that there was not enough white labor. I know 
that from experience. We hire anybody who applies 
for employment at my place; we never turn a man 
awa}^, for we need all we can get ; and yet we have 
not only lost a large quantity of grapes the last few 
years, simply because we could not get any one to take 
care of them, but last year from the same cause we 
lost one fifth of all the crops on the farm. I have 
told my manager that I won't have things that way 
again, and we are trying to provide against the recur- 
rence of such loss. I have discharged my Chinese 
several times, and tried to get along with white labor, 
but I always had to go back to the Chinamen, and 
probably one third of the labor on the place is now 

With regard to religion Mr Baldwin is a disciple of 
Robert Ingersoll, whose views fully coincide with his 
own, "expressing his faith," as he says, *' as well as he 
could express it himself." He would permit no reli- 
gious teachings of any kind in our public schools and 
would keep the government absolutely free from all 
religious bias; in support of his views he points to 
such countries as Spain and Russia, whose backward 
condition is largely due to the pernicious influence of 
priestcraft. Nevertheless there is no stronger advo- 
cate of the cause of education ; no one who is more in 
favor of providing the best schools that can be built 
and the best teachers that can be secured. 

Since 1865 he has been a member of the society of 
Odd-fellows, and belongs also to that of the Red Men, 


his standing in both these orders being of the highest. 
For charitable purposes his contributions have been 
on a liberal scale, yet always with discretion, for to 
give indiscriminately he considers worse than a waste 
of his possessions. But the greatest of all his char- 
ities has been his work itself, for his enterprises have 
ever been of a creative and beneficent character. 
While himself leaning upon no one, planning and di- 
recting, as I have said, even the execution of details, 
his enterprises have been to thousands of his fellow- 
men the source of a comfortable livelihood, have af- 
forded them the means of making their own way in 
the world, manfully and independently. What Cali- 
fornia owes to him directly and the human race indi- 
rectly will never perhaps be known; but from the 
time when he worked as a struggling youth on his 
father's farm, until to-day he controls, as a millionaire, 
one of the largest and most productive estates in all 
the rich valleys of the golden west, his life has been 
of sustained and substantial usefulness. His career 
has indeed been a remarkable illustration of what 
can be accomplished by hard, practical work, by the 
sheer force of energy and intelligence, unaided by 
any special adv^antages of fortune or education. There 
are on this coast some wealthier men than Elias Jack- 
son Baldw-in, and not a few who have won for them- 
selves a larger share of that worthless bauble known 
as the world's applause ; but there is no more striking 
example of what can be accomplished by the will 
power and capability of a strong, self-reliant man. 



Ancestry and Parentage — Early Career — Removed to California — 
Start in Business — Miller & Lux — E,anchos — The San Joaquiv 
AND Kings River Canal — Live-stock Interests— Political Views — 
Wife and Family — Physique and Characteristics — Summary of 

"Consummate men of business," it has been said, 
"are as rare almost as great poets — rarer perhaps 
than veritable saints and martyrs." There has ever 
been a large aggregation of business ability on the 
Pacific coast; and this not only in the ranks of com- 
merce, but in all the industries that tend to build up 
a commonwealth. There is hardly a branch of enter- 
prise in which there is not some undertaking world- 
famous for tiie boldness of its conception and the 
magnificence of its plan; so that he who would know 
the utmost that can be accomplished by the energy and 
intelligence of a single generation must study the an- 
nals of this western America. Here will be found 
the largest gold mines, the largest wheat farms, the 
largest vineyards and orange groves, the largest 
dairies, and some of the largest sheep and cattle ranchos 
in the world. In all these branches of industry has 
appeared some guiding spirit whose enterprise has 
marked him as preeminent among his fellow-iiien. 
Such are H. J. Glenn the wheat farmer, Charles 
Webb Howard the dairy farmer, and such is Henry 
Miller, to whom is conceded a preeminent place as a 



Mr Miller is a native of Brackenheiin, in the kiiig- 
dom of Wurtemberg, his birthday being the 21st of 
July, 1828. In this portion of Germany, one of the 
fairest spots in the fatherland, his ancestors resided 
for many generations, his father's calling being that 
of a butcher and dealer in cattle, while his forefathers 
on the mother's side were vintners. Here also he re- 
ceived his early and indeed his only education, attend- 
ing school from his seventh to his fourteenth year, 
thouii'h, as he relates, since the aofe of eiixht he earned 
his own livelihood, the assistance which he rendered 
to his father being, even then, sufficient to offset the 
expense of his maintenance. At scliool he was noted 
for a singular aptitude for figures, for an excellent 
memory, which his threescore years have not im- 
paired, and for his ready answers to the questions put 
by his teacher or by the minister of his church. On 
this period he does not, however, look back with un- 
mingled pleasure, for from childhood he was intent on 
business and somewhat impatient of control. He 
chafed under parental training, and the severe labor 
exacted marred the recollections of boyhood. 

From the calamities of war and pestilence which 
visited this region between 1740 and 1750, the people 
of Brackenheim had fully recovered, and were in the 
days of Miller's childhood a prosperous and contented 
community, but differing somewhat in customs and 
habits from the people of to-day. The land supports 
a dense population, the towns being separated by in- 
tervals of not more than a mile, each with its own 
associations and ideas, and its own dialect. Many of 
the inhabitants were exiles from France, and built up 
settlements of their own, though afterward they be- 
came identified with the Germans. In former years 
the Jews were excluded from all but a few localities, 
while to-day they control many of the most profitable 
branches of business. Between protestants and cath- 
olics, also, there is little intercourse, except such as is 
required by the exigencies of trade, while people of 


all classes and creeds are divided into cliques and 
guilds, and apart from their own circle, little given to 
sociability. With them a man of the Miller stamp 
could not assimilate; and yet he retains a certain 
affection for the land of his nativity. 

The Germans are energetic and progressive in com- 
merce as well as in science. Of this natural trait voung- 
Miller partook, and became directly" an earnest factor 
in business. When twelve years of age, he would 
journey through the towns, as is the custom in that 
country, in search of young cattle; he would buy a 
sheep or a goat, and drive it to his father's butchering 
place. In that country an apprentice was required to 
j3rove his proficiency before being admitted as a jour- 
neyman, and was then required to serve seven years 
before he could be a master-butcher ; there the occu- 
pation comprised all the branches from the slaughter- 
ing: of the animal down to the makino^ of a fiddle- strino^. 
Young Miller, restless and wrathful, did not like the 
prospect. For his first year's work he received ten 
Prussian dollars, from which he provided his clothing 
of homespun, doing his own washing and mending. 
Soon afterward he removed to Holland and thence to 
England, whence in 1847 he came to New York, his 
object in making these changes being solely to better 
his condition. Arriving in that city when nineteen 
years of age, he went to work in a garden for four 
dollars a month and his board. Then he obtained a 
place as pork- butcher, his duties being to dress hogs in 
the afternoon, and in the forenoon to attend to one of 
his employer's stalls in Washington market. Work- 
ing for sixteen hours a day, he received as compen- 
sation eight dollars a month, and as a perquisite the 
intestines of the slaughtered animals, which he sold 
for about a dollar a day, saving most of his earnings, 
and thus accumulating sufl^icient to pay his passage to 
San Francisco. In taking this step, as ever before 
and afterward, he was guided solely by his own judg- 
ment, never depending on others for advice or assist- 


ance, for in his opinion a man who cannot rely on 
himself seldom achieves success. 

On reaching Panamd he was attacked with fever, 
and for three mouths lay sick in a private hospital. 
But for this incident he would probably have re- 
mained at the Isthmus, wliere at that date the oppor- 
tunities for making money were favorable. Arriving 
in San Francisco, then consisting of four or five streets, 
most of the inhabitants living in tents or huts, he 
started forth to seek his fortune, w^th six dollars in 
his pocket as the sum total of his worldly effects, but 
without any misgiving as to his future. He was 
destined to prove a money accretion ; whatever his 
store of wealth might be, it was foreordained to in- 
crease. He first eno'acred himself to a Frenchman to 
butcher sheep at the head of Dupont street. He 
remained there for two months, working for small 
wages, doing his own cooking, and only on occasions 
allowing himself the luxury of a meal at a Chinese 
restaurant. For this the charo-e was one dollar, the 
fare consisting of a tough steak, a single potato, and 
a cup of muddy coffee. 

After the fire of June 1851, he resolved to launch 
forth for himself, and leasing a lot on Jackson street 
between Dupont and Kearny, erected thereon a one- 
story Vjuilding, which he furnished with, a block and a 
few hooks, having a surplus of $150 in cash after 
paying for his premises. With this sum he pur- 
chased a number of calves, and slaughtering them in 
his shop and packing them on his back, some to 
Clark point and others to North beach, disposed of 
them to the retail butchers. At first he depended 
for his stock mainly on purchases made at the water 
front, though sometimes scouring the country in 
search of hogs and sheep, and buying one or two at a 
time, as occasion offered, fi^r at that time pork was 
fifty cents a pound, and often could only be had at his 
stall even at that price. From the slaughter-houses 
he also purchased brains and kidneys, with which ho 

376 ai;riculture-california. 

furnished his French customers, together with the 
meat that he supplied to them, and so retained their 
patronage. Thus httle by httle his business in- 

Thus by throwing into the work an acute m'nd 
and ardent soul, by close economy and strict attention 
to business, making each dollar the parent of ten 
dollars, each day's work equivalent to three of the 
hireling order, he increased his capital of $150 far 
into the thousands, and was enabled to enlarge his 
sphere of operations, to take advantage of the market, 
and to establish himself as wholesale butcher. In 
1853 he purchased from Livingston & Kincaid a herd 
of 300 prime American oxen, paying for them $33,000, 
a larger sum than any other butcher in the city could 
then command. These he sold by wholesale at 18 to 
20 cents per pound, their average weight exceeding 
800 pounds; and thus realized from his venture a large 
profit. This was the first band of American cattle 
ever driven to the San Francisco market. 

In 1857 he purchased a band of cattle in partner- 
ship with Charles Lux, consisting of about 1,600 head 
of large Texas steers. This transaction grew out of 
a proposal made by Lux, w^ith whom he had at the 
time only a speaking acquaintance, the price agreed 
upon being $67.50 p3r head, each partner paying one 
half the purchase-money, and the proceeds of the 
sales being equally divided. Thus arose the firm of 
Miller & Lux, thouo'h it was not until a year later 
that the partnership was consummated. In the 
spring of 1858, Lux having, as he thought, money 
enough, disposed of his interest and went east. But 
changing his mind, he returned in September, and 
proposed to Miller to join him in the purchase of 
cattle with a view to holding them for an advance. 
To this tlie latter agreed, and on the following day 
bought nearly two thousand head, which were pas- 
tured on rented land. Of this partnership it may 
here be mentioned that it continued for more than a 


quarter of a century, or until the decease of Mr Lux, 
to whom was mainly intrusted the management of the 
city trade, tliough to Mr Miller was always conceded 
the general control of affairs. Apart from their busi- 
ness relations, they had little in- common, for they 
differed widely in tastes and habits, but there never 
arose between them any serious disagreement. Each 
retained his own capital, and to a certain extent his 
own landed estates, though most of their property 
was necessarily held on joint account. 

The first large investment in land made by Miller 
on his private account was the Bloomfield rancho, in 
the neighborhood of GilrG^,*'^nsisting first of 1,700 
acres, but increased by subsequent purchases to 
13,000 acres. This was selected as a suitable ren- 
dezvous for bands of cattle on the way from the 
southern counties, being well watered, with excellent 
pasture, and within easy reach of San Francisco. 
The property became very valuable; in 1887 a few 
ten-acre tracts were sold to people from the east at 
$150 an acre, with a view to encourage settleuient, 
while for some portions $500 an acre was paid. 

In this connection, it may be of interest to state, as 
to the future values of country and city lands, the 
views of such a man as Miller. ** The area of good 
land in California," he says, " is limited; but to the 
vastness of her future population there is no practical 
limit. At present the state is sparsely settled, of the 
arable land little more than one-tenth being under 
cultivation. A small holding of good land is suffi- 
cient to support a family, and nothing can prevent the 
state from becoming eventually the most densely pop- 
ulated section of the union. Thus no one can foretell 
the prices that land will reach. As yet the people of 
California know very little of the resources of their 
state, but the time is near at hand when they will 
learn to appreciate them." As to booms, he consid- 
ers that they are beneficial only in compelling those 
who have purchased at inflated prices to improve 


their land in order to make it profitable. San Fran- 
cisco he believes to have as bright a prospect as any 
city in the United States, and though its prosperity 
may for a time be retarded, its future is fully assured. 

The first large purchase of land on partnership ac- 
count was the Santa Rita rancho, on the San Joaquin 
river, now termed the home farm, and the principal 
rendezvous for stock. It consisted at first of 8,835 
acres, for which was paid the sum of $10,000 for the 
land, and $5 per head for 7,500 cattle. This is in- 
deed profitable employment, buying land at $1.25 an 
acre, and selling it shortly afterward at $500 an acre. 
To this other sections were added as occasion offered, 
until the entire grant of 48,400 acres was acquired, 
the average price being about $4 an acre. A single 
glance at this property, with its central location, its 
level surface, and its rich pastures, was sufficient to 
satisfy Mr Miller that no better site could be selected 
for his purpose. Other tracts were bought from time 
to time, for, with his increasing herds, a larger range 
was needed, and sometimes it was even found neces- 
sary to pay for grazing lands a rental of nearly a 
dollar an acre. In what was then Monterey and is 
now San Benito county, two Mexican grants were 
purchased, comprising the Tequesquite and Lomas 
Muertas ranch os. For several years they had been 
leased by the firm, and as Miller relates, their rental 
cost him more than was afterward paid for the prop- 
erty itself. 

These cattle-men did not escape uninjured from the 
drought of 1864. At that date, in common with the 
whole country, their ranges were somewhat over- 
stocked; they lost two thirds of their animals, and 
throughout the state there was a wide-spread feeling 
of depression, and a desire to dispose of their interests, 
though few of them were able to do so. 

Later, lands and stock appreciated in value, the 
latter rising from $10 first to $20, and then to $40 and 
$50 a head. From 1834, with the incoming tide of 


population, the surrounding country was settled, free 
ranues were no lono^er to be had, and it becanie neces- 
sary for cattle-men either to reduce the number and 
size of their herds or to increase the area of their 
farms. Miller & Lux preferred the latter, and gradu- 
ally enlarged their possessions, as means and op})ortu- 
nity allowed, until they became the owners of 750,000 
acres, located in eleven diiferent counties in Califor- 
nia, having also large tracts in Oregon and Nevada. 
In sheep-raising the firm was largely interested, 
having on their various tracts some 80,000 head. 
Each year they purchased many thousand wethers, 
which were fattened for the winter market, the num- 
ber herded for this purpose in 1888 being from 18,000 
to 20,000. Mention must also be made of their in- 
terest in the irrigation problem, as illustrated by the 
organization of the San Joaquin and Kings River Canal 
and Irrigation company. Beginning at a point six 
miles south of Firebaugh ferry, their canal extends in 
a northwesterly direction from Fresno slough, almost 
parallel with the western bank of the San Joaquin river. 
Its total length is 78 miles, and for most of that distance 
it is on their lands. For the first 38 miles it is G8 feet 
wide at the top and 45 feet at the bottom, and for its 
remaining length 53 and 35 feet respectively. There 
is also a side-canal of 28 miles, whereby the capacity 
of the larger work is increased for a portion of its ex- 
tent. For the first forty miles the drop is one foot 
to the mile, and for the remainder six inches, the 
slope of the land between the canal and the river 
varying from 10 to 15 feet down to zero. Tliere are 
hundreds of miles of cross-ditches, and it is estimated 
that here is water enougli to irrigate 100,000 acres, 
tliough with the present rates of labor, only the 
speediest and cheapest methods of irrigation are 
practicable, and hence a large amount of waste is un- 
avoidable. For grain-lands the charge is from $2 to 
$2.50 an acre, and for lands sown with alfalfa, of 
which in some locations three or four crops a year are 


produced, the charge is $2.50 an acre. The farmers 
are supphed with unfailing regularity and with all the 
water tiiat they require, and thus a large area which 
was before a barren waste has been converted into a 
most fertile region. 

The work of construction was begun in 1871 and 
completed two j'ears later, Miller being one of the 
first stockholders, though it was not until 1876 that 
in self-defence his firm acquired the control. In the 
mean time no dividends had been declared, while as- 
sessments were regular and constant. The company 
tried, moreover, to break its contract, in connection 
with certain privileges granted to Miller & Lux for 
right of way through their lands, and for the subsidy 
of $20,000 paid by the firm. This would, of course, 
have involved a lawsuit had not the control been se- 
cured. Although it is only in dry seasons that the 
venture is profitable, and large sums have been ex- 
pended in improverhents and repairs, dividends have 
since been declared, but not as yet of large amount. 

Though urged by his partner to venture a portion 
of their surplus wealth in other investments, as' in 
bonds and stocks and city property. Miller refused. 
" They were not fitted," he said, "for a business of 
that description. They must place their money where 
it had to stay, and where it could not be taken back 
again, while at the same time it returned them a suffi- 
cient revenue. Town lots might improve in value, or 
they might depreciate, while country lands can always 
be depended upon, and. will never be a burden on our 
hands." To the fact that he invested in his business 
the profits which it produced, increasing its value 
year by year, and devoting to it his whole attention, 
undisturbed by outside speculations, is largely due 
his phenomenal success. 

The mildness of the winters on yuirtions of the Pa- 
cific slope is especially favorable to the growth and 
maturity of domestic anin)als, and nowhere do they 
multiply more rapidly than in the sheltered valleys 


of California. It is estimated that there are in Cali- 
fornia about 1,000,000 head of neat cattle and some 
10,000,000 of sheep, the product of wool, butter, 
cheese, and milk being valued at $30,000,000 a 
year. In a country where meat is taken at almost 
every meal, the consumption is large, that of San 
Francisco being 150,000,000 pounds a year, or 500 
pounds per capita of tlie population, though of this 
quantity perhaps 10,000,000 pounds are packed for 
exportation. To supply tliat city are slaughtered 
annually more than 150,000 beeves, 20,000 calves, 
1,000,000 sheep, 250,000 lambs, and 200,000 hogs, 
in addition to poultry, game, and fish. If good living 
is, as some believe, conducive to morality and virtue, 
then the citizens of our western metropolis should be 
of all communities the best and purest. 

As to the number of cattle and sheep owned by 
Miller & Lux, it is hard to form a conjecture, for 
anion a; their vast herds a few thousands more or less 
signify but little. In 1888 the former were esti- 
mated at 100,000 and the latter at 80,000, while for 
several years their sales of meat averaged $1,500,000 
a year. In 1881 they supplied the San Francisco 
market alone with no less than 83,332 animals, in- 
cluding 12,818 steers, 2,682 cows, 6,564 calves, over 
32,000 sheep, 21,202 lambs, and 7,63 L hogs. To con- 
duct this business, including farming operations, 
required the services of from 800 to 1,000 men, while, 
as already stated, their grazing lands comprised 750,- 
000 acres, their area being almost equal to that of 
the entire state of Rhode Island. 

Thus did Henry Miller, who landed in San Fran- 
cisco in 1850 with a capital of six dollars, acquire an 
estate valued at more than twice that number of 
millions. To his persistent and well-directed efforts, 
his close attention to detail, his strict economy'-, and 
his foresioht and iudoment in taking advantage of 
opportunities, though always avoiding the risks of 
speculation^ is due the marvellous success of his firm. 


After the drought of 18G4, for instance, when through- 
out the middle and southern portions of the state the 
only pasture to be found was in the tide-lands of Sui- 
sun bay, at the mouth of the Sacramento and San 
Benito rivers, he purchased a large quantity of stock 
at from $8 to $10 a head from men who were willing 
to part with the remnant of their herds at any sacri- 
fice. None understood, morever, better than he what 
may be termed the economy of stock-farming. If, 
after cattle had been grazing in his fields, anything 
v.-as left that sheep would consume, there sheep were 
pastured. If on any of the farms there was offal 
suitable for the feeding: of hoofs, there hoofs were 
kept. If the men engaged in tending the herds 
were not fully employed, their surplus time must 
be given to farming. Employes were selected with 
care and kept under strict discipline; land was pur- 
chased only after a careful consideration of its capa- 
bilities, and was never overstocked, the sheep and 
cattle being of superior grade. If any department 
proved unprofitable, a careful investigation was made 
to see whether the fault lay with the manager, the 
system, or the land itself. 

In politics a republican, Mr Miller, in common with 
most thinking men, is opposed to universal suffrage, 
being in favor of a moderate property qualification as 
the best means of excludinsf the undesirable class of 
voters. He is also an advocate of protection, because 
it tends to insure high prices for labor, which he 
deems an advantage to the country. Under this sys- 
tem the nation has prospered, and he thinks a change 
in the direction of free trade would be of doubtful 
benefit, and might work injury to the community. As 
to the Chinese, he considers their presence in our midst 
a necessary evik If all our people would work, they 
would no longer be needed; but our boys and girls, 
who should take the place of Mongolians, have not 
the application necessary for sustained labor, and their 
services cannot, as a rule, be depended upon. 


In religion he is a protestant, as were his fore- 
fathers, and if not a church-going man, is in the best 
sense of the word a moral man. Thoufjh not a mem- 
ber of any benev^olent association, he never declines 
to aid such organizations when he considers them 
worthy of support. As with societies, so with indi- 
viduals; in no case does he refuse assistance to those 
who are needy and deserving. While among the lat- 
ter his bounty is frequently misplaced, he considers 
himself fully repaid if only one out of twenty is 
thereby saved from want or crime. Many are those 
who in early life have been indebted to him for their 
support and education, among them fifteen of his 
nephews and nieces, and a number of the children 
of his own employes. Though charity begins at 
home, and so often breeds ingratitude, mankind can- 
not afford to forswear it, as its devotees are sometimes 
incHned to do. 

While thus affording: to others the means of ac- 
quiring an education, he himself sets but little value 
on such knowledge as is acquired at schools and col- 
leges, believing that a practical training is of greater 
benefit. The tendency of the age is, he considers, to 
over-educate, to cause young men and women to de- 
spise hard work, and to live, if possible, without it. 
Most of the leading men of to-day have come, as he 
justly remarks, from our farms and workshops, from 
homes where toil and scarcity were ever-present 
guests, and have succeeded in life by imitating those 
who have been most successful, thus shaping their 
own career, free from al) humiliating dependence on 
others. The youth who has mastered a trade need 
never place himself in this position, for he has in 
his own hands the means of earning a livelihood. 
On the other hand, there is no more pitiful speci- 
men of humanity than that of a college graduate 
fresh from the lap of his alma mater with barely the 
modicum of knowledge, which renders more danger- 
ous his presumption and conceit, and unskilled in 


any craft or calling that can avail him in the strug'^le 
of" life. 

In habit Mr Miller is abstemious, eating to live, 
drinkino" motleratelj^ of tea and coffee, his favorite 
beverages being water and milk, never taking spirits 
except as a medicine, and only on occasions a glass of 
wine. In this respect he is a follower of' John Eliot, 
the Indian apostle, who was a water-drinker, and who 
Gaid of wine : " It is a noble, generous liquor, and we 
should be humbly thankful for it, but as I remember, 
water was made before it." 

In 1858 Mr Miller married Miss Nancy Wilmot 
Sheldon, a sister of Mrs Charles Lux, and some thir- 
teen months after her decease, in 1860, wedded her 
niece. Miss Sarah Wilmot Sheldon. Of their two 
surviving children, the daughter, Nellie Sarah Miller, 
became the wife of J. Leroy Nickel. Their son, Henry 
Miller junior, is a young man about twenty-four years 
of age, whose career in life has not as yet been deter- 
mined. His city residence is on the corner of Harrison 
and Essex streets, one of the old landmarks of San 
Francisco, and occupied by several men of note before 
it passed into the hands of its present owner. 

In physique Mr Miller is a well-proportioned man, 
somewhat above medium height, with a light com- 
plexion and brown hair and eyes. What strikes the 
observer in his appearance is the expression of power, 
both of mind and body — the power to assert his indi- 
viduality and make his way in the world in the face 
of obstacles. In address he is quick, incisive, and 
forcible, with rapidity of utterance, stating his views 
in clear, concise, and simple language, every word of 
which goes straight to the point. Thus in a few 
moments he despatches business affairs of the greatest 
importance, and involving the most complex questioiv^' 
with as much coolness and precision as if disposing of 
the titular dignitaries of the chess-board. One of his 
most remarkable characteristics is his memory, which 
extends not alone to events, but to persons and dates. 


He can tell, for instance, not only the year and 
month, but even the day and hour, when he concluded^ 
a bargain for a band of cattle purchased more than a 
quarter of a century ago, giving not merely their 
number and price, but a description of the men with 
whom the transaction was made, all being as clear and 
distinct in his mind as at the moment when the sale 
was consummated. His whole soul has ever been 
engaged in this work; once an impression is stamped 
on his brain, it is never entirely defaced, and thus he 
has accumulated a vast fund of useful experience 
which he does not fail to turn to account. 

He has ever been a hard and constant worker; as 
he says, his day's work consists of twenty-four hours, 
or as much of it as may be required for the trans- 
action of his business, for until that is completed he 
never retires to rest. Like many others who are 
possessed of an active brain and burdened with a 
multiplicity of cares, he is troubled with insomnia, 
but is nevertheless an early riser, his usual hour being 
five o'clock. To such a man, without the constant 
exercise of his mental and physical powers, life would 
be a burden. " Most men," remarked Dr Johnson, 
" are never happy except when they are asleep," but 
of many Californians it may be said that they are 
happy only when at work. For more than a third 
of a century Henry Miller never allowed himself a 
single day's recreation, and when in his sixtieth year 
he could accomplish more than a dozen ordinary men. 
Often at the end of a day's business he has been known 
to ride after nightfall forty or fifty miles, in order to 
fulfil an appointment for the morrow, and though he 
should ride all night he would not fail to keep an 

In his intercourse with his employes he is consider- 
ate, though for the control of his vast army of subor- 
dinates the strictest discipline is necessary. Some of 
his more experienced and trustworthy foremen he 
admits into his confidence, and with most of them he 

C. B.— III. 25 


consults from time to time, listening to their plans and 
opinions, indorsing them if they meet with his ap- 
proval, or explaining clearly wherein he differs from 
their views, and giving them distinct and definite 
instructions. If in a single instance an employ^ 
should fail to carry out these instructions, he is 
immediately discharged, though should he, by obeying 
them, cause the firm to suffer loss, he is nevertheless 
commended for his faithfulness. 

^ --^ .(^A ^.^^^ 

C^'-']/ ' ' 



The Sttdy of Nation-Making — Chandler's Ancestry and Early 
Life — Personal Appearance and Principles — His California Ex- 
periences — Family Matters — His Political Career ■ — The Mining 
Debris Question — Public and Private Benefactions — His Last 

There is no better or wider field for research than 
that in whicli are laid bare the processes whereby 
nations and states have attained their development. 
Such a study, coupled with a just recognition of those 
whose labors made these results possible, is at all 
times gratifying to him who would study aright the 
atinals of a commonwealth. We, who have the good 
fortune to dwell in California, a land so bountifully 
favored by providence, and whose advancement, with- 
in little more than forty years, in all the elements of 
wealth and greatness challenges the admiration of 
the world, feel not only a just pride in this wondrous 
march of improvement, but also recognize the debt 
of Q;ratitude we owe to the men whose counsels and 
efforts have brought it to pass, laying at the same 
time solid foundations for still further progress and 

It is, in truth, a most grateful task to rescue from 
oblivion and make known to the present and coming 
generations the merits of such men, in order that the 
services they rendered, each in his own special spliore, 
should be duly appreciated and remembered. Cali- 



fornia has been justly called the new El Dorado, the 
golden state ; and yet, all the wealth in precious 
metals of her placers, river bottoms, and mountains, 
must take a second place when compared with her 
agricultural products, for these are the solid founda- 
tion of wealth for countless generations. Among 
those who have helped to lay this foundation is 
Augustus Lemuel Chandler. 

Sprung from a sturdy ancestry of New England 
ftirmers, Mr Chandler was born on the 26th of July, 
1831, at Johnson, Lamoille county, Vermont. His 
pedigree can be traced back some eight generations, 
to AVilliam and Annis Chandler, who were landed 
proprietors in England, and leaving that country in 
1G37 brought with them four children, and settled 
themselves at Roxbury, Massachusetts. In the his- 
tory of that town it is recorded that none can boast 
of a more honorable ancestry than the Chandlers, 
who are descended from that oldest of puritan stock. 

Mr Chandler's father, Lemuel, was a farmer by 
occupation, and having the misfortune to lose his wife 
when Augustus was but two years of age, was left 
with a family of eight children, his oldest daughter, 
then only fourteen, keeping house and taking charge 
of her brothers and sisters. As for a time it was 
found difficult to keep the little flock together, 
Augustus was placed in the care of an aunt, and at 
the age of six was admitted into the household of a 
distant relative, named Freeman Walker, a farmer of 
Strafford, Vermont. Here for the most part he 
remained until he came west, attending the public 
schools, and afterward himself teaching school in 
winter and working as a haymaker in summer. It 
appears, however, that at some time in his boyhood 
he became a member of the family of Senator Morrill, 
of Vermont, who, while on a visit to California a few 
years ago, sought out his former protege to congrat- 
ulate him on his success. 

Although Mr Chandler never enjoyed the advan- 


tage of a college education, by constant reading of 
books on serious subjects, as history, biography, polit- 
ical economy, as well as of the ablest newspapers and 
current literature, his mind became stored with useful 
knowledge, which, together with the discipline ac- 
quired by studious and industrious habits, was to him 
a pillar of strength throughout his career. He 
proved himself at all times a true friend of education, 
and built, mainly at his own expense, on his own 
property, the school-house in his district, partly for 
the benefit of his own family. 

Mr Chandler is said to have been rather slender in 
his younger da^^s, though enjoying excellent health. 
In the first years of his manhood, he was about five 
feet ten inches in height, and probably weighed 160 
to 165 pounds. He had a full face, broad high fore- 
head, strongly marked, features, with expressive eyes 
and mouth ; the hair red, and face somewhat freckled 
by exposure, particularly in the harvest season. In 
later years, however, he became fleshy, weighing from 
225 to 240 pounds; the hair gradually changed to a 
darker color, the face lost its freckles, and he was a 
fine specimen of manhood, with a countenance that 
then, as ever before, inspired confidence at first sight, 
with a pleasant and genial manner, a jovial disposition, 
and a cheerful and sanguine temperament. In dress 
he was plain and neat ; in carriage erect and dignified ; 
in habits simple and. abstemious, departing not from 
the customs to which he had been trained in his New 
England home. The practice of drinking to excess 
was abhorrent to his nature ; and during the time 
when drinking and gambling were so widely prevalent 
in California, he was never known to indulge in either 
of those vices. 

It was in the latter part of 1851 that Mr Chandler 
was seized with the fever that carried away so many 
younger and older men to seek their fortunes in the 
land of gold ; but having no money at command he 
one day walked seventeen miles in a heavy snow- 


storm to procure a life insurance on which he might 
raise a loan to cover the expenses of his journey to 
California. This accomplished, he bought a passage, 
and embarked in February, 1852, for Panama, where 
he sojourned for some weeks, and then joined a party 
of about 180 persons, all embarking on an old whalinfj- 
brig bound for San Francisco. The fates were against 
the voyagers, for after being 55 days at sea, they 
were wrecked some miles below Acapulco. About 
the same time was occupied in the vo3"age from that 
port to San Francisco, for the ship was becalmed, and 
for several weeks, while sweltering in the heat of the 
tropics, the passengers were allowed only half a pint 
of water a day. Once only there came a shower of 
rain, when all who were able came on deck, and with 
basins, pans, and whatever would hold the precious 
fluid, even with inverted unbrellas, caught what they 
could of the rain-water. Thougfh some of it was 
almost black from the coloring matter in the umbrellas, 
we may be sure that this water was the sweetest 
draught that had ever passed their lips. 

It is understood that Mr Chandler's first work in 
California was making hay somewhere on Bear river, 
and that he was afterward eno^ao;ed in the freis^htino: 
business, carrying grain and other provisions from the 
Sacramento valley to the mining camps. He was 
employed for some time as a school-teacher, the 
school-house beinoj situated near the north end of the 
brido^e known as Kempton's crossingf. Even at that 
early age he displayed the keen insight for which he 
was always noted. From the first he saw that Cali- 
fornia was destined to become a great agricultural 
state, and the gold excitement which lured other 
young men to the mines was powerless to turn his 
attention from the rich lands of Sutter county. In 
1855, or 1856, he and his brother Charles bought a 
squatter's claim to 540 acres near Nicolaus, and 
engaged in farming, mainly in the raising of wheat. 
Here he remained until the time of his death, at first 


meeting with many drawbacks and discouragements, 
as failure of crops, heavy expenses, and losses by fire, 
and making a success of his business only through 
the force of his own energy, perseverance, and good 

For many years, except for such incidents, his life 
was an uneventful one, save that in 1860 he visited 
his old home in the east, and in April married 
Caroline Jane Noyes, a native of Orange county, 
Vermont, the newly married couple sailing together 
from New York on the 21st of May of the same 
year for California, and after a fair passage arriving 
at their home on the 13th of June. The union was 
of the happiest, and it is here in order to say a few 
words of her whose affection and sterling qualities 
made Mr Chandler's married life so peaceful and con- 
tented. Mrs Chandler's father was a native of New 
Hampshire ; her people, both on the father's and 
mother's side, being New Englanders. By her mar- 
riage she had six children, named in the order of their 
birth, Carrie A., Annie L., Ida M., Lizzie F., Mary A., 
and Harry A., the only son, on whom was placed the 
highest hopes. The oldest daughter became the wife 
of A. J. Gladding, of Lincoln, California, a son of 
Charles Gladding, of the firm of Gladding, McBean, 
and company. The second was married to an eastern 
man, named H. L. Hatch, their residence being at 
Strafford, Vermont, where were passed the years of 
Mr Chandler's boyhood. 

In her habits and tastes Mrs Chandler was essen- 
tially domestic, and never showed any inclination to 
interfere in her husband's business affairs. Her life 
was literally a part of his, and whatever he said or 
did was right. Never did a cross word pass between 
them, and never was a household more free from 
bickering and strife. The mother had almost the 
entire control of the children, who greatly respected 
their parents, and have all been well educated in the 
higher branches, and in music, the three youngest 


being still at school, and all having attended the best 
academies of Oakland, where partly for that purpose 
the family resided between 1883 and 1886. Like 
her husband, Mrs Chandler never made any formal 
profession of religion, but she was always fond of 
religious works and of strictl}^ moral sentiment, 

Mr Chandler was in every respect a representative 
of the best type of our agriculturists. Although he at 
times engaged in other occupations, such as that of 
lumbering, we must consider him as a representative 
husbandman, aside from his political life, and by him 
the general interests of the country were never over- 

It is now some twenty j^ears ago since the various 
combinations in wheat, grain-bags, and freights first 
caused the farmers throughout the state to adopt 
measures for mutual protection, and everywhere 
were formed wdiat were then called farmers' clubs. 
In this movement Mr Chandler was one of the guid- 
ing spirits, and with the grange interest of the entire 
state was always strongly identified. The state owed 
him much for his active work in the Yuba city 
grange, of which he was one of the promoters and 
charter members, withdrawing from that association 
only to join one nearer home. When in the spring 
of 1873 the farmers' state convention was held in 
San" Francisco, composed of delegates from the local 
clubs, he took an active part in its proceedings ; but 
its deliberations showed, more than all else, the 
necessity of incorporating the clubs if actual business 
were intended. Out of this grew the farmers' cooper- 
ative union, of Sutter county, and to Mr Chandler is 
due the credit of placing the stock, and the support 
which afterward made it a complete success Chosen 
one of the directors of the first election, he held that 
office until the day of his death. To his enterprise 
and judgment several of tlie unions owe their most 
successful operations, in the face of strenuous opposi- 
tion on the part of rings and capitalists. 


He was ever noted for the interest which he dis- 
played in his section of the state, and sliowed his 
confidence by assisting every wortliy enterprise. 
When the Sutter County Farmer was established, he 
became one of the principal stockholders, and stood 
nobly by its principles until the end. He was one 
of the strongest supporters of the Patron publishing 
company, and as a promine?it granger remarked, 
"When the Patron was languishing for want of sup- 
port and calling for help, brother Chandler was the 
one to come forward with his cheering: words and 
financial aid, and largely through his assistance and 
encouragement our paper was saved from suspen- 
sion." He was a shareholder in the Nicolaus Ware- 
house company, and mainly through his efforts the 
warehouse was built. He was also one of the pro- 
jectors of the Sutter canning packing company, 
which has so greatly increased the reputation of his 
county as one of the choicest fruit-growing sec- 
tions of the state, and has established there a 
home market, never before enjoyed. Of many other 
institutions ranking: liig:h in the state, he was one of 
the founders, maintaining his interest in them to the 
last. As a farmer and stockraiser he was very suc- 
cessful, and notwithstanding heavy pecuniary losses 
occasionally experienced, amassed a considerable for- 
tune, which he left to his family, including about 
1,500 acres of the richest land, with improvements of 
a most substantial character. The family residence 
thereon is a very fine and commodious brick dwell- 
ing, with extensive outbuildings in keeping, and all 
in excellent preservation. 

In politics he was affiliated with the republican 
party, and having the confidence of his neighbors 
was elected from Sutter county to the lower house of 
the legislature in 1873, and served in it three regular 
terms and one extra session. In 1882 he was chosen 
by Sutter and Yuba counties to the state senate, thus 
representing the twelfth senatorial district during 


three regular and two extra sessions. Throughout 
his poHtical career he exhibited a most watchful care 
for the interests of the people, and owing to his long 
service in the upper house was called the father of 
the senate. He invariably favored appropriations 
for the establishment and support of public institu- 
tions, and younger senators looked upon him as one 
whose course it was safe to follow. It may indeed 
be asserted without fear of contradiction, that no 
man in the state ever enjoyed a more implicit trust 
than that which the people reposed in him. During 
his long and successful legislative experience no 
breath of suspicion ever touched him, and he was 
one of those whom no one claimed to influence, while 
so many of his colleagues laid themselves open to the 
accusation of being the tools of schemers, whose 
aims were to plunder the people. Though a man of 
reserved and somewhat taciturn disposition, his utter- 
ances always commanded the respect due to experi- 
ence, sound judgment, and power of observation. He 
possessed, moreover, the power of expressing himself 
with facility, and in such choice language that his 
arguments carried weight among his hearers, for his 
mental powers were of a superior order, enabling him 
to take the broadest views of public questions, and to 
master the problems b}'' which they were surrounded. 
While a republican, he held broad and liberal views 
on all public questions, and never allowed himself to 
be swayed by prejudice. It is superfluous to say that 
he took a leading part in all the important questions 
that occupied public opinion, and were the subject of 
discussion in the legislative chambers ; he was fore- 
most as a legislator as in everything else ; a leader 
especially on the part of the farmers, in both the 
assembly and senate, in fighting the mining debris 
question, one of the highest importance to the farm- 
ing interests of the Sacramento valley. Perhaps his 
greatest triumphs were achieved during the closing 
days of his last session while opposing a bill for the 


impounding of mining debris. He forcibly objected 
to the buildino^ of dams in the mountain streams, on 
the ground tliat, if such dams were constructed, 
their waters would sooner or later deluge the valley, 
and slickens destroy the agricultural lands. Of the 
several speeches delivered by him on this subject, one 
in particular was justly pronouaced a strong and 
sterling argument. As specimens of his reasoning 
and oratorical powers a few quotations may be of 
interest ; but first it should be stated that his 
remarks turned partly on section two of the bill, 
wherein it was provided that no person or corpora- 
tion owning or appropriating water for mining pur- 
poses, should have the right to run such water into 
any stream above these dams, until they had sub- 
scribed and paid for shares in the same proportion and 
on the same condition as other shareholders. 

*' I believe," he said *' we have been accused, as 
farmers, of desiring to oppress the mining interest, to 
oppress the small miners, to oppress the quartz miners; 
to oppress the draft miners, to crush the surface mi- 
ners, and I ask you whether this bill, coming frcm 
the miners, does not contain a clause that will step 
every small miner above that dam ? I wish that this 
bill could be heralded over the mountains, among the 
miners, in order that they might see what the large 
corporations that desire to form under this act intend 
to do with them. I affirm that if the bill be enacted 
the large corporations, most of them foreign corpor- 
ations, will in a short time own and control the entiie 
mining industry on the stream above these dams ; fcr 
it would be impossible for the small miners to subscribe 
for stock. And if they could, I ask why should we 
provide a bill to force the small miners, or torce the 
large miners, or force any man into a corporation ? I 
do not understand that I am oblio-ed to take stock in 
any corporation unless I see fit to do so. I do not 
understand that they can compel me to build dams in 


the mountains if it is contrary to my mmsIi ; but it is 
clear in this proposition tliat such is the intention." 

Referring to the injuries caused by such dams and 
to the danger of living in the valleys beneath them, 
he continues : " These rivers are already charged with 
dsbris from 20 to 150 feet deep; these very rivers 
where they propose to erect the dams. That debris 
consists mainly of cobblestones, and the mass is con- 
stantly disintegrating and being carried down into the 
valleys. Now they prop(jse to build on the top of 
these stones that have comedown from the mountains 
where they had lain for ages, but when they are 
brought in contact with the air become slacked, so 
that the outside is continually crumbling away and 
turning into mud. If there is any man here who 
has ever seen the Sacramento river, or any other 
river where the debris has come down, he will recog- 
nize the truth of the expression ' that it came down 
i:i liquid waves of mud.' Why, sir, the water is 
absolutely destroyed for practical purposes in the 
B3ar and Yuba rivers. It is so muddy at times as to 
hd unfit for watering stock. You could not use it for 
irrigation ; it is absolutely worthless to the people 
below, and whenever it rises liigh enough to break 
our levees, there is spewed out an immense quantity 
of sand and slickens over our land, thus covering it 

" There are some men — and I saw one in this sen- 
ate yesterday — who if they could speak upon this 
floor, would tell you how they have spent thousands 
upon thousands of dollars to protect their Innds; 
that they have been leveeing for years and exhausting 
their means in levees, which every now and then have 
been breaking and destroying their crops, washing 
away their fences, and drowning their stock. One of 
these men, sir, is C. P. Berry, of Sutter county, well 
known in every part of the state. I know his ranch ; 
it is only six miles distant from my home, and while 
I am fortunate enough to be on the other side of the 


ridge, I see this slimy monster steadily creeping toward 
my own liome. It will be but a few years before I 
a;ii driven out, as I have seen hundreds driven from 
their homes, taking their ail perlia|)S in a little two- 
horse wagon, going off to Washington territory or 
otlier places, and leaving as fine farms as ever man 
owned in tlie state. 

" The finest land I over saw vras originally on tiie 
Bear river bottom and on the Yuba river bottom. 
Why, sir, I liavo seen these things, having lived there 
for thirty-five years. I have labored to rear n^y 
children and l)uild me a home there. Do you wonder 
that I feel deeply, intensely, on this question? Do 
you think tliat I want these dams put into the rivers, 
that I am to live under their menace ? I know that 
there is not a man in this valley, that there is not a 
man in my county, in the valley portion of either of 
the counties — and one of those which I represent is 
a mining county — who is in favor of constructing 
dams in the river. 

" Do you think, gentlemen, that we want dams 
erected there to load up with millions of tons of this 
infernal slickens and debris, to come down upon us, 
as it will, at one fell blow, and sweep us out of exis- 
tence ? Sir, 3"ou may drive along the banks of Bear 
river, and as you pass you can see the tombstones 
covered t) their tops in the burial grounds that were 
placed there years ago, and are now just visible above 
the water. Do you think that when I travel there 
and see t!ie monument tliat I erected to my brother 
covered to within six inches of the top, that I do not 
feci that we are being destroyed ? 

" How can you come here and vote for a bill of 
this kind to license the millionaires and C(>rporations 
which infest this state from foreign lands, to erect 
tlieir hydraulic works, and drive streams of water 
tlirongh hydraulic monitors upon banks 300, 400, and 
500 feet hio^h, for a little stratum of pay dii't tliat 
could be taken out by the drifting process and give 


employment to ten men where tliey are working one 
now ? Talk about it injuring the laboring classes if 
these hydraulic monitors were stopped ; why the work 
is done with powder and with the force of water. 
When these clays are too hard to wash away with the 
vast streams of water that would knock down a 
building like this capitol in a few hours, they drift 
i'.ifco them and put in thousands of kegs of powder and 
blast them off at one charge, loosening up the dirt. 
I say thousands of kegs of powder, because I have 
often heard of their putting in 2,500 and 3,000 kegs 
at one blast, and then pouring in water from their 
monitors by night and by day. I have heard many a 
blast ten or twelve miles away, and it is like an earth- 
quake. I have been in these mines, illuminated by 
( lectric lights, with three or four monitors running 
upon a mountain, washing day and night this base 
material down upon the valley lands." 

In conclusion he says, referring to the river and 
harbor bill as passed by congress, whereby the secre- 
tary of war was instructed to take such legal proceed- 
ings as might be necessary to prevent the washing of 
debris or slickens, caused by hydraulic mining, into 
the Mokelumne, Sacramento, Feather, and San Joa- 
quin rivers, or any of their tributaries: " They recog- 
nized the right and justice of our petitions. They 
recognized that the people owned these navigable 
streams, and that this state, through its legislature, 
had no right to permit acts that would desti'oy these 
public highways. They recognized that these streams 
under the compact made between this state and the 
United States, must be kept open and free to com- 
merce. Now I do not threaten ; I do not browbeat ; 
I do not ask you to do that which you think is wrong ; 
but I do ask yoa to do what would be statesmanlike; 
and I ask jou whether you think that the great 
agricultural interests of this country must be de- 
stroyed, and this valley submerged under a coating 
of slickens for the sake of a few hydraulic miners ? 


" The history of all mining countries is that they 
go to decay, while agricultural communities, on the 
contrary, continue steadily progressing in prosperity 
and po])ulation. That should be enough of itself to 
satisfy us which is the greater interest, and which the 
interest we ought to foster. The question that we 
are now called upon to decide is whether we will pre- 
serve these lands for our children and our children's 
children, or whether we will allow the mines to cover 
them up, so that they will be worthless for centuries. 
If any man can reconcile his sense of duty with the 
latter course, I for one cannot see upon what theory 
he does it." 

Thus, as he remarked, without entering into the 
legal question, which he left to other members of the 
senate, he discussed the matter on its practical merits. 
Nor in vain did he plead ; for largely to his efforts, 
as leader of the opposition, was due the defeat of one 
of the most iniquitous measures ever brought before 
a legislative body. On his final success, after a long 
and doubtful struggle, he was congratulated by friend 
and foe alike, among others by the governor of the 
state ; for the bill had been pushed with the utmost 
determination, and seldom had so fierce a strugole been 
witnessed on the floor of the senate. 

By his political opponents he was no less respected 
than by his political allies, for he ever treated them 
with courtesy and consideration. It is related that 
duringr an extra session a democratic member of the 
house in which he was also serving, lost a brother, 
and was very anxious to be present at the funeral. 
But it happened that the republicans and democrats in 
the chamber were so evenly divided that none dared 
absent himself for fear of giving advantage to the other 
party. Chandler was the only republican who con- 
sented to pair off, and the afflicted fellow-member was 
thus enabled to attend his brother's obsequies. 

In all enterprises for the public good Mr Chandler 
was apt to take the initiative. 


In his private benefactions he was equally generous, 
and when he thought well of a man and became his 
friend, was always ready to aid him to the best of his 
ability. A case in point was that of one who had 
owned considerable property in the town of Nicolaus. 
When the place fell into decadence, the value of his 
property became so low that he had to sell for $600 
buildings which had cost him five or six times that 
sum. A later investment in a saw-mill proved 
equally disastrous, and soon he found himself in a 
distressed pecuniary condition. Mr Chandler came to 
his relief, and by timely assistance saved him and he 
afterward became a wealthy man. 

Neither a placable foe nor a lukewarm friend, he 
was somewhat positive in his likes and dislikes, and 
when he hated a man would shun him, although there 
was too much of the milk of human kindness in his 
composition wilfully to offend another. His prudence, 
affabilit}'^, and savoir vivre also preserved him from 
making enemies. In his long and prominent public 
career, in which he had often to oppose questionable 
schemes, he was known to have made only a single 
enemy. He and another were administrators of an 
estate, the agent for which, a man of doubtful char- 
acter, with two indictments for perjury against him, 
went to New York, and thence forwarded to Mr 
Chandler a sworn bill for $1,200. The bill was for- 
warded to their legal adviser, with Mr Chandler's 
opinion that it was a just bill and should be paid, 
although he questioned the credence to be attached 
to the oath of one who was under indictment for per- 
jury. This aroused the claimant's deadly emnity, 
which was never afterward placated. 

By his love of truth and purity, by his upright life, 
his unswerving integrity, and strong sense of justice, 
as well as by his public spirit, generosity, and manli- 
ness, did A. L. Chandler leave an impress for good on 
the people of his adopted state. Men who knew him 
well, who were often iu contact with him for social or 


business purposes, and thus had the best opportunity 
to appreciate his character, were constantly drawn 
closer to him. His brother grangers declared him to 
be a living example of what each granger should ex- 
ert himself to be and do, and a host of personal friends 
acknowledged that there was in him a combination of 
qualities, such as are rarely found in any one man. It 
has been said of him that " he was weighed in the 
balance of public opinion, and tried by the scales of 
justice, and was not found wanting." If, like other 
men, he had his faults, he certainly never had a mean 
one ; they were all on the better side of his nature. 
Nevertheless, faithful and conscientious as he undoubt- 
edly was in the discharge of all his duties, it was in 
the inner circle of his home, as a loving husband, and 
kind indulgent father, that he appeared to the best 
advantage, for though by no means averse to society, 
there was no society which pleased him so well as 
that of his wife and children. 

But while yet in the full career of his usefulness, 
while yet almost in the prime of life, and in the enjoy- 
ment of all his faculties, it pleased an all- wise provi- 
dence to remove him from our midst. His death, which 
was caused by acute pneumonia brought on by cold 
and exposure, occurred in his fifty-eighth year, on the 
5th of November 1888, a few days before the election 
in which, as was his custom he took an active part, 
joining in the republican procession and afterward 
delivering a speech. The funeral took place from his 
residence ; and a large concourse of people gathered 
from far and near to pay their respects to the memory 
of one of whom all had felt proud, and whom all had 
so highly esteemed. The obsequies were conducted 
under the auspices of the Pleasant Grove lodge of 
odd fellows, of which the deceased had been a member 
of long standing, assisted by other orders with which 
he had also been affiliated. The procession from Fair- 
view church to the cemetery was one mile in length, 
and contained more than a hundred and fifty carriages, 

C. B.-jII. 26 


the pall-bearers being selected from the most promi- 
nent citizens. The entire audience was greatly affected 
by the words of the officiating clergyman, and many 
were the tears of sympathy and affection shed for the 
grief-stricken wife and children, many the relatives 
and others who mourned the parting from their be- 
loved friend. 

" Always faithful to his obligations as a husband 
and father, as a neighbor and friend, as a law-maker 
and conservator of the interests of his constituents, 
and the welfare of his state." Such were some of 
the expressions of the Gold Hill lodge of masons, 
appointed to draft resolutions on the death of their 
brother, for of that lodge Mr Chandler was a mem- 
ber. The following was among the resolutions adopted 
at a memorial gathering of the members of the state 
grange : " That we recognize in the life of Brother 
Chandler those noble qualities that arise from con- 
stant effort to know and do right. Where others fal- 
tered or fell he gained strength to rise ; and in the 
sorrow we feel at his departure is mingled something 
of the triumph he feels beyond that change wisely 
allotted to all." On this occasion the chairman and 
pastmaster, I. C. Steele, remarked : " I first met 
Brother Chandler in the state grange. When first I 
listened to his voice it was in advocacy of the organ 
of the state grange. At that meeting he was elected 
on the executive committee. After the meeting he 
became a director of the California Patron publishing 
company. This gave me an opportunity of knowing 
Brother Chandler further. It has been well said that, 
when we go through trials together, we either come 
nearer each other or grow asunder. Each fiber of 
my heart was entwined in his. Our confidence was 
mutual ; our thoughts were bare to each other ; and 
when the news came that he was dead, I felt that 
there was another in the spirit land. Brothers and 
sisters, there are times precious moments, when our 
loved ones in spirit-life come so near that we feel their 


presence and know they are near us. It has been 
thus with Brother Chandler. I reahzed the fact of 
his glorious opportunity. His life was exactly in the 
path that goes upward forever. He was a true, noble 
man. He cultivated the whole quality of his nature; 
and in all our consultation, in all the difficulties 
through which he passed, I never heard him say aught 
against any human being. He was free to forgive ; 
he did not hold a grudge against anybody. Such a 
life as his increases my confidence in the possibilities 
of human nature." 

By several other associations, by the legislature, 
and by his fellow-citizens at many a public meeting, 
was sorrow warmly expressed and in most feeling 
words, M^ords not only of sympathy and love for the 
senator's family, but of regret that one had passed 
away whose loss could never be replaced. As the 
state was enriched by his efforts and example, it 
became the poorer through his demise, and there are 
few of whom it can more truthfully be said that the 
world is better in that he has lived. 



Resources ov California — Isaac Lankershim — Birth and Education- 
El Cajon and San Fernando Ranchos — Improved Farming Methods 
— Flouring Mill — The Lankershim Land and Water Company — 
Growth of Los Angeles— Wife and Family — Visit to Japan — 
Appearance and Characteristics. 

It was not the discovery and mining of gold, nor 
the construction of railroads, nor the founding and 
building of cities, nor the profits from trade and com- 
merce that gave California unparalleled prosperity 
and growth. Each contributed to the results which 
have been attained. The gold deposits were at 
length exhausted because the processes of creation 
had ceased, and when the gold boom came to an 
end if there had been nothing else we would to-day 
be without railroads, and cities, and traffic. 

It is true that California was adapted to pasturage, 
but so long as sheep and cattle raising was the prin- 
cipal industry, wealth came slowly, and commerce 
whether internal or external in volume was scarcely 
appreciable. It would not have become a great state 
in centuries had this been all. Its growth, wealth, 
and power spring from the productions of the soil. 

All men have their peculiar tastes and adaptabil- 
ities. Honor is due to those who have built rail- 
roads and cities, and who have developed commerce 
to immense proportions, but the men who compre- 
hended what was the sustenance of railroads, cities, 
and trade were wiser and greater. Such men are not 


^^^f-2y /^-^^ /?^^^^nJ 


as conspicuous as those of the other classes, and 
therefore may not hold as high a place in the estima- 
tion of the world. 

Among the men who early saw what were the 
resources of California which would give the great- 
est material power for all future time and who took 
steps to demonstrate the correctness of his conceptions 
was Isaac Lankershim. He was born in Bavaria in 
1820, and came to the United States when he was 
but seventeen years old. He was a stranger to our 
langjuaere, laws, and institutions. He was an ener- 
getic, courageous, and observing young man. He 
settled in the neighborhood of St Louis, where he 
lived and worked till he was twenty-four 3'ears old. 
In the mean time he had married Miss Annis L. 
Moore, a young lady of English birth, who bore him 
two children, and who survives him, and resides with 
her dautyhter in Los An oleics. 

He had accumulated some means, and had famil- 
iarized himself with farming. Like many other adven- 
turous spirits he determined to emigrate to California 
and try his fortune on the Pacific coast. He left 
his family near St. Louis and crossed the plains with 
a herd of cattle, preferring to see what the country 
was before he removed his wife and children. He 
began farming in Suscol valley in Solano county. 
The valley was covered w^th wild oats as high as 
his horses' backs. Little cultivation of the soil had 
been done. In 1855 he sowed and harvested one 
thousand acres of wheat. It was the first consider- 
able crop in that part of the state ; the yield was 
abundant and prices were satisfactory. He devoted 
himself to farming until his decease, and was uniform- 
ily successful, as he cultivated intelligently and well, 
and garnered and marketed his products with care. 
His agricultural operations extended to the counties 
of Stanislaus, Merced, Fresno, San Diego, and Los 
Angeles, and in the latter county he ultimately con- 
centrated all his interests. In Southern California 


he purchased large tracts of land and operated on a 
large scale either by himself or in association with 
others. The operations in which be engaged will be 
given more in detail in describing the career of his 
son, whose biography is here presented. 

Isaac Lankershim was a man of deep religious con- 
victions, which he carried into all bis dealings and 
into his everyday life. He was a member of the First 
Baptist church of San Francisco, and was one of tl e 
founders of the Tabernacle Baptist church, now the 
Metropolitan Temple in the same city, and of the 
First Baptist church in Los Angeles, He contrib- 
uted largely to the endowment of the Baptist college 
at Vacaville, Solano county, which was subsequently 
removed to Oakland. He did not confine his benev- 
olence to his own denomination, but gave liberally to 
others. His devoted wife joined him in all his good 
acts, and has continued the good work since his 
decease. He was a man whose energy, industry, 
good judgment, and honesty continued through life. 
He died in Los Angeles in 1882, leaving to his wife 
and children a large fortune. 

James Boon Lankershim, the son of Isaac Lan- 
kershim, was born in 1850 near St. Louis, in which 
he lived till in his tenth year. When he was four 
years old he was left to the care of his mother, his 
father having gone to California as has been stated. 
He commenced attending the common school at five 
years of age, and continued until the family removed 
to California. His opportunities for schooling when 
a child were good. He came to San Francisco with 
the family by the way of the isthmus of Panamd, in 
1860, and continued to reside there till 1871. He 
was educated at the High and Latin schools from 
which he graduated. His opportunities for educa- 
tion there were good and he improved them to the 
best advantao-e. His father was ambitious that his 
son should become a man of position in the world and 
entitled to the esteem of good people, He not only 


encouraged him in educational matters, but instilled 
into him the highest moral and religious sentiments. 
He graduated at the head of the senior class and 
became a member of the alumni association. He 
thought of taking a classical course for a time, but 
though his father was a man in affluent circumstances, 
he concluded to make his way in the world the same 
as his father had done before him. 

Young Lankershira inherited a love for material 
development. He enjoyed the farm, and liked to see 
those things grow which supply human wants, and 
which constitute the basis of commerce. He was 
energetic and assiduous in his work. He early dis- 
closed an observing cast of mind and excellent reason- 
ing powers. 

In 1871 he went to Fresno county and engaged in 
farming: in connection with his father, who owned 
fourteen thousand acres of land there. He interested 
himself actively in the business and remained there, 
one year. His father became the owner of thirty- 
seven thousand acres of land in the El Cajon rancho, 
fifteen miles east of San Diego, Young^ Lankershim 
went there and superintended farming operations. 
Twenty thousand acres were planted to grain, and the 
hills and mountains surrounding the valley were filled 
with cattle which his father owned. The father and 
son also engrag;ed in the grain and warehouse business 
in San Francisco and at other prominent shipping 

Mr Lankershim was not as yet altogether satisfied, 
notwithstanding; San Dieg;o has a climate not excelled 
anywhere in the world. The valleys are small, and 
it seemed that the crops were not as good as in some 
other places. After a thorough examination and 
consideration of the surroundings, it was decided to 
make Los Angeles countv the future home. The 
valleys were extensive and the earth yielded bounti- 
fully. At that time, however, the productiveness of 
Los Angeles county in cereals, vegetables, and fruits 


had not been developed. The people had so much 
relied upon stock-raising that little thought and atten- 
tion had been given to other interests. In passinfy 
southward from San Francisco and stopping at San 
Pedro, Mr James B. Lankershim observed that flour, 
potatoes, cabbages, raisins, and nearly all kinds of veg- 
etables were being shipped from the north to supply 
the Los Angeles market. He was greatly surprised, 
as he knew that all these things could easily be raised 
at home, and which would avoid the depletion caused 
by their purchase abroad. The policies of the farm- 
ers were neither economical nor wise. They would 
raise large crops of barley and little else, and would 
sell off their crops early and at almost any price they 
could get, and before the next harvest they would be 
short of feed, and would have to purchase at much 
higher prices than those at which they sold. It 
appeared to Mr Lankershim that all this should be 
changed. In 1869 Mr Isaac Lankershim in conjunc- 
tion with other capitalists purchased the southern 
half of the San Fernando rancho, which contained 
sixty thousand acres, and the management was con- 
fided to him. The rancho had been very little culti- 
vated and had been depastured for long years. It 
had not yielded revenue sufficient to pay the taxes. 
Under the able and viu-orous manatjenient of the 
Lankershin)s its producti\eness w^as developed so that 
its great value became apparent. In 1874 the owners 
incorporated under the name of the Los Angeles 
Farming and Milling company. Mr Isaac Lanker- 
shim was made president, which position he continu- 
ously held till his decease. 

In 1873 the vount^er Lankershim arrived in Los 
Angeles and was made assistant manager of the 
rancho. He at once formed the opinion that the soil 
and climate were adapted to the growing of the cereals 
and especially wheat. Generally in the county efforts 
to raise wheat had proved failures, which were 
ascribed to the fact that the seasons had been too dry 


or too wet, but the Lankershiras were of the opinion 
that a prominent cause of faihire was in defective culti- 
vation. Notwithstanding the unfortunate experiences 
of others, they proceeded to make tlie experiment. 
They ploughed deep and cared well for the crop. 
They sowed two thousand acres of wheat, and in the 
autumn of 1875 were able to load at Wilmington 
f )r Liverpool, England, three ships with an aggregate 
of three thousand tons from the yield, and the qual- 
ity of the wheat was pronounced in Liverpool to have 
been the best that had been received from California 
durino; the season. In the second vear the area was 
increased to four thousand, in the third to ten thou- 
sand acres, and finally, by 1885, there were planted in 
cereals thirty thousand acres. At no time was there 
a failure of a crop, or when the product was not 
remunerative. The yield averaged twenty bushels 
to the acre, and continuous cropping for thirteen 
years did not seem to lessen the productiveness of the 

The Lankershims were observant of circumstances 
and conditions which surrounded them. Los Angeles 
i:nported her breadstuffs, and the trouble and expense 
of shipping away the wheat drew heavily upon the 
profits. A flouring-mill at Los Angoles seemed to 
be necessary, and to promise ample remuneration. 
The company erected one with a capacity of two 
1 undred barrels per day, which was subsequently 
increased to five hundred. The enterprise at first did 
not meet popular approval. The Lankershims had 
iimovated by raising wheat for export, and now they 
proposed to grind it for home consumption ; such a 
thing had never been in southern California and it 
was breaking in on well-established methods. From 
slieer prejudice against new things the enterprise 
eacountered opposition. For a time the products of 
the mill were marketed in Arizona and at other dis- 
tant points, but their excellence soon broke down the 
opposition, and they found a ready sale in all parts of 


southern California. In 1884 the company secured 
a contract for twenty carloads of flour from San Fran- 
cisco, notwithstanding it had thirty competitors. The 
property of the company is of immense value. In 
1888 the assessment for taxation fixed it at one 
million dollars, but its real worth was double that 
amount. In addition to the rancho, it is the owner 
of the mill, its plant and warehouses which are situ- 
ated in the very heart of the city of Los Angeles. 
The mill constantly runs at its full capacity, which is 
three thousand barrels per v/eek. 

Until late in 1887 the rancho remained unbroken, 
though tempting offers had been made by capitalists 
to purchase it in whole or in part during the specula- 
tive period. In the autumn of this year it was decided 
to place twelve thousand acres on the market in tracts 
ranging from five to forty acres, and to dispose of 
them to actual settlers only. The project contem- 
plated the formation of a company to carry the plan 
into effect. One was organized under the name of 
the Lankershim Land and Water company, and to 
the town which is springing up on this land the name 
of Lankershim is also given. The scheme was not 
merely speculative, but it rests upon the soundest 
policy. The idea is to encourage farming and fruit- 
growing. The soil is exceptionally fertile, the scenery 
is excellent, and water is plenty. Avenues have been 
laid out and ornamented with shade trees for a length 
of seven miles. The best class of settlers have been 
secured and there is appearance of prosperity and 
thrift everywhere. Sales have been liberal in the 
dull and reactionary period, and have amounted to a 
sum suflficient to make all necessay improvements and 
to pay eighty-two per cent of the company's indebt- 
edness, and but one-quarter of its lands have been 
disposed of. These sensible methods reflect the views 
of Mr Lankershim, who had been schooled in sub- 
stantial ways of doing business. He has given all 
his sj>are time to this enterprise, and its success thus 



far is due in no small part to Ins good sense and inde- 
fatigable energy. He well understands that a town 
cannot exist without something to support it, and 
ever\'thing possible has been done to place the town 
of Lankershim upon a substantial basis. Until 1877 
Mr Lankershim resided on the San Fernando ranclio 
and attended to its affairs, but in that year he moved 
to Los Angeles to look more especially after the busi- 
ness of the flourino--mill. At that time Los Angeles 
was a small town as compared with the present. 
From 1860 to 1871 he had resided in San Francisco, 
and afterwards had frequently visited it. He had 
seen its growth and had made a study of the sources 
of a city's prosperity. Considering the broad extent 
of cultivable land which was contiguous, the fertility 
of the soil, and the great variety of productions, 
Mr Lankershim saw that Los Angeles had a great 
future. The physical conformation invited extension 
of the city to the south and west. He purchased in 
those directions from where the business portion of 
the city then stood. He was correct in his judgment. 
The city did extend as he had calculated with great 
rapidity and values were immensely enhanced. He 
built dwelling-houses, boarding-houses, and stores, 
and public buildings were erected in the vicinity of 
his properties. The coming of invalids, tourists, and 
sojourners gave occupants to his buildings, and every- 
thing he touched turned out profitably. One of the 
finest structures in the city that he has erected w^as 
completed in 1888 on the corner of Main and Winston 
streets, and his own elegant residence, in the Gothic 
style of architecture, on the corner of Olive and 
Tenth streets, was finished in 1885. 

In December 1881 Mr Lankershim married Miss 
Carrie Adelaide Jones, a daughter of Mr John Jones, 
an Englishman by birth, but wiio for many years 
was a wholesale merchant first in San Francisco and 
then in Los Angeles until 1874, w^hen he retired from 
business with a laroe fortune. Mrs Lankershim is a 


lady of attractive personal appearance and of culture, 
being: a praduate of the Mills seminary. Two children 
have been born to them, a son, John Isaac, in 1883, 
and a daughter, Dora Constance, in 1885. In 1887 
Mr and Mrs Lankershim sailed to Asia for a pleasure 
trip and made a tour of Japan. They were greatly 
delighted with that ancient country, which, until Com- 
modore Perry of the United, States navy in 1850 
opened to communication with the outside world, had 
been a realm unknown to civilized nations for many 
centuries. The traditions of heroes and warlike deeds 
which they learned there they dwell upon with enthu- 
siasm. Mr Lankershim is just the man to take obser- 
vations and tjain knowledg:e from the habits and 
customs of that curious insular country. He speaks 
highly of the hospitality displayed towards strangers 
by the Japanese people. By his own exertions and 
b}^ inheritance Mr Lankershim has acquired great 
wealth. He is engrossed in his business affairs, which 
he conducts with excellent judgment, He is director 
in the Farmers and Merchants' bank, whose capital 
and surplus are a million and a half dollars, in the 
Los Angeles Savings bank, a successful institution, 
in the Lankershim Land and Water company, whose 
capital is a million, and in the Los Angeles Farming 
and Milling company, whose capital is three million 
dollars. He has recently organized and is president of 
the Main Street Savings Bank and Trust company 
with a capital of two hundred thousand dollars. It is 
located across the street from the United States 
postoffice which is now under construction. In this 
bank are associated with Mr Lankershim many of 
the wealthiest and most prominent and successful 
business men of Los Angeles, and it promises to be 
one of the soundest, most influential, and successful 
institutions in the state. 

Mr Lankershim has one sister who is the wife of 
Mr Isaac N. Van Nuys, of Los Angeles, and with 
whom his mother resides. 


In religion Mr Lankershim is of his father's faith, 
and without ostentation he bestows his charities upon 
the needy and to promote the cause of religion. He 
is a democrat in politics, but never takes part in 
political manipulations. Though his business affairs 
crowd upon his time he keeps himself informed upon 
public questions, and performs wdiat he regards as tlie 
bounden duty of a good citizen in all the relations 
of life. He "has never held nor sought a public office 
and could not be induced to hold any but an hon- 
orary position. Mr Lankershim is above the medium 
height, compactly built, but not corpulent. His chest 
is large, which gives him unusual vital force. His 
complexion is dark, eyes brown, and hair black. He 
is kindly in disposition and has a tendency to be 
humorous. He is a genial companion, courteous to 
all, and provides for his family with princely gener- 
osity. He has great capacity for work, is enduring 
and energetic. He is quick of perception, clear in 
reasoning:, and cool and deliberate in manner and 
thouo;ht. He is not liable to err, and in business 
circles he stands high. He is correct and honest in 
business, and his habits are unexceptionable. He 
has not only an observant and philosophical mind, but 
he is endowed with the powder to forecast results and 
events. He knows when it is best to go fast or to go 
slow. He is not a believer in speculative excitement, 
but in natural and substantial growth, and he has 
never operated upon any other theory. He believes 
well-directed work is the lever of growth and pros- 

Mr Lankershim inherited practical characteristics, 
and has developed them to a remarkable extent 
through his own efforts and experiences. The devel- 
opment of cereal production in Los Angeles county 
is due in large part to the exertions and examples of 
father and son. Everything done by them has been 
sensible and substantial. The subject of this biogra- 
phy cherishes the memory of his father with the 


greatest respect and affection. He was exactly- 
adapted to carry forward the great work which the 
father commenced, and he has been faithful and effi- 
cient in making his own career a fitting sequel. Since 
his majority lie has devoted himself to material devel- 
o[)ment, and his labors have been of incalculable 
value to tlie country as well as of benefit to himself. 
Mr Lankershim is several years short of the meridian 
of life, and barring accidents he has a third of a cen- 
tury of work before him. His future achievements 
can only be estimated from what he has accomplished 
in the past. Few men in the world have before them 
careers which promise greater usefulness and suc- 




Ancestry and Early Environment — Manful Struggles against Advkr- 
siTY — Vicissitudes of Pioneer Industry— Success Won by Steadfast 
Labor — Respectable and Useful Career as Private Citizen and 
in Legislative and Executive Office— An Exemplary Life. 

Among the builders of empire on this coast whose 
memory is endeared to us by their noble attributes, 
men whose blameless lives and purity of cliaracter 
have left an impress on the community which time 
cannot efface, is the late James Adams, merchant, 
farmer, supervisor, sheriff, and legislator. 

Mr Adams was born on the 1st of June 1830, in 
the parish of Ballindery, County Antrim, Ireland, a 
spot dear to all true Irishmen as the birthplace of 
revolutionary heroes. In the ancestry of his parents 
was the intermixture of Scotch and Irish blood, from 
wliich has come the highest development of the Cel- 
tic race. Both of them survived, as did several of 
their forefathers, until their ninetieth yeaF, their 
death being caused sim|)ly by the decay of the physi- 
cal powers resulting from extreme old age. In belief 
they were methodists, strict in the observance of their 
religious duties, and careful as to the spiritual welfare 
of their children. By occupation farmers, they were 
esteemed amonof their neiQ;'hbors as wealthv. or at least 
well-to-do, their lands though not held in freehold, 
being occupied by the family for several gent-rations 
and still remaining in their possession. 



Until liis sixteenth year Mr Adams worked on his 
father's farm, attending school in winter, or when- 
ever his services could be spared, and meanwhile 
acquired those habits of industry and economy which 
he retained in all his later years. Thus early in life 
he displayed the self-reliance and strength of will 
which were among tlie strongest traits of his charac- 
ter, and had even then resolved to seek his own for- 
tune in a land which afforded wider opportunities for 
the exercise of his powers. In 1846 he embarked for 
Quebec, encountering many hardships on his voyage, 
wliich, as ho afterward related, was the most cruel 
experience of his lifetime. Black vomit broke out on 
b;)ard the vessel, and of all her crew and passengers 
he was one of the four who survived. Soon after 
landing he was himself taken sick, and durinof this ill- 
ness his slender means were exhausted, so that on his 
recovery he found himself almost penniless, and a 
stranger in a foreign land. He was, therefore, glad 
to accept employment with a farmer at a salary of 
eight dollars per month ; and now having the misfor- 
tune to break his leg, remained at his post until he 
had earned sufficient to repay the indebtedness 
incurred by this accident. Soon afterward we find 
him in Philadelphia, engaged in business as a grocer; 
there he remained until 1852, when, in the hope 
of bettering his fortunes, he sailed for California by 
way of Cape Horn. 

Two years later he commenced farming at Bodega, 
Hufnboldt county, raising grain and potatoes for the 
San Francisco market. At first he met with fair 
success, but, during the second year, his crop failed, 
and he removed to San Francisco, where 1 e began 
business as a coal merchant in conjunction with Rob- 
ert Smith, and later as a hay and grain mercimnt in 
partnership with Mr McEwen. While engaged in 
the latter calling he laid tlie foundation of his fortune 
and also won for himself a reputation as a shrewd, 
careful, methodical business man, one who knew 


how best to avail himself of his opportunities, or if 
need be, to create them. About 1868 or 1869 he 
disposed of his interests, invested most of his means 
in real estate, in which he continued his transactions 
until the time of his death, making his purchases 
with excellent judgment, baying only such properties 
as would increase in value, and avoiding speculation. 
In 1869 Mr Adams was elected supervisor, being 
chosen one of the Industrial school committee, in the 
affairs of which institution he took a special interest. 
He was also one of the committee appointed to report 
on the question of conveying to San Francisco the 
water of Clear lake, as a pure and unfailing source of 
supply. During his term of office the people had for 
the first time an opportunity to gauge his ability for 
the administration of public affairs, and by all it was 
acknowledged that he displayed unusual aptitude for 
the management of the important matters intrusted 
to him. Thoroughly understanding the needs of the 
city which he represented, he was perfectly loyal to 
its interests, attending with the strictest fidelity to 
every trust. So faithful was he in the discharge of 
his duties, that, on the completion of his term, he was 
nominated for the shrievalty, though his first inti- 
mation of such a choice was the announcment of his 
name in the newspapers. In each instance his nomi- 
nation was unsolicited, and in a measure forced upon 
him. Although a staunch republican, he received a 
large number of democratic votes, and was elected by 
such an overwhelming majority as is only bestowed 
on the people's favorite. On assuming office, he 
found himself in a position fraught with difficult}', for 
many years had elapsed since it had been held by 
republicans, and he encountered a strong and con- 
certed opposition from an army of influential machine 
politicians. It was, however, the verdict of the pub- 
lic that never before had this post been filled by one 
so thoroughly honest and faithful, of which the best 
evidence is the saving effected during his term, which 

C. B.-llI. 27 


exceeded that of any previous administration. While 
in charge of public affairs he was no less careful and 
economical than in the management of his own, 
attending closely to every detail, selecting his assist- 
ants strictly with regard to character and capability, 
apart from all political motives, and doing always 
that which in his own judgment was best for the 
public good. By him office was regarded not as a 
means for his own enrichment, but as a public trust, 
involving grave responsibility, one which demanded 
his entire attention and the exercise of all his facul- 

Though strict in the performance of his official 
duties, he treated all with the greatest courtesy and 
kindness. If as sheriff or supervisor he made political 
enemies, this was due to his rigid impartiality, his 
perfect integrity, and his aim to serve the public 
rather than interested persons. While supervisor, 
during the mayoralty of Thomas H. Selby, whom he 
numbered among his firmest friends, he rendered 
good service in aiding to thwart the designs on the 
city's water front, and on all other occasions used his 
influence to defeat the machinations of rings and 
monopolies. More than once he was approached, 
though never in person, by men who sought his 
assistance in questionable schemes, but such over- 
tures he treated with contempt. Never did he con- 
sent to take the part of a friend as against the interests 
of the people. "If you are in need of money," he 
would say, "I will give it to you, but you must not 
ask me to do anything inconsistent with my official 

During his term as sheriff occurred the escape 
of two notorious criminals, named Brotherton, when 
lodged in the county jail, awaiting a second trial for 
forgery. For their capture he personally offered a 
large reward, which was effected after some delay, 
caused, as is commonly believed, by the connivance 
of his political enemies, through whose agency, it is 


also alleged, the convicts were helped to regain their 
liberty. To a certain ex-convict he offered five hun- 
dred dollars for information which would lead to their 
arrest. Although it was found tliat this information 
was already possessed by the authorities, and there- 
fore of no value, he nevertheless carried out his agree- 
ment, and paid the man his price. So careful was he 
not to do injustice to others, that he would not dis- 
charge the jailer who was responsible for the custody 
of the Brothertons until his neglect of duty had been 
established by a thorough investigation. 

On the completion of his term as sheriff, Mr Adams 
purchased a tract of land in Sonoma county, one of 
the most beautiful spots in Sonoma valley. In improv- 
ing this property he expended money without stint, 
engaging largely in viticulture, and devoting his leis- 
ure time to a careful study of the viticultural interests 
of the state. He also placed on it a number of well- 
bred horses and cattle, for he was an excellent judge 
of livestock, the care of v^^hich was one of his favorite 
pastimes. As director in the agricultural district 
comprising the counties of Sonoma, Marin, Solano, 
Napa, and Lake, and as president of the Sonoma 
County Agricultural Park association, of which he 
was one of the founders, and afterward of the Golden 
Gate association, his services met with due recognition. 

That he accumulated a handsome fortune was almost 
a necessary consequence of his business habits, his 
rare executive ability, and the excellent use which he 
made of his time and opportunities. While setting a 
proper estimate on the value of money, not for its 
own sake, but for the comfort and independence which 
its possession affords, he was a man noted for his 
unstinted charity and hospitality. His benefactions 
were always bestowed in private, and as a rule through 
the agency of a third person, so that often the recipi- 
ent did not even know to whom he was indebted. As 
a host he was the embodiment of the liberal, free- 
hearted, country gentleman. Those who were invited 


to his home were treated not merely as guests, but as 
chosen friends and members of his household, enjoy- 
ing all the comforts and privileges which that gen- 
erous household afforded, and sharing the free and 
independent life in which he himself delighted. 

On purchasing his farm in Sonoma county it was 
his intention to pass there the remainder of his daj's; 
but erelong he began to feel the need of a wider sphere 
of action than could be found amid that staid and 
conservative community. Throughout his career he 
had led an active life, mingling freely with his fellow- 
men, taking his full share in the strife of politics and 
of business, and for a man of this temperament it was 
impossible to rest content with the environment in 
which he found himself. In 1881, therefore, he 
removed to Oakland, where he had already bought 
and furnished a suitable residence in one of its most 
sightly locations, and there he remained until the 
time of his death, surrounded by a circle of society 
more in harmony with his tastes and habits. 

Meanwhile, in 1880, he had been chosen a member 
of the assembly for Sonoma, then the banner county 
of democracy. Though taking a deep interest in pol- 
itics from a republican standpoint, he was not, as 
before remarked, in any sense of the word an office- 
seeker, never regarding his fealty to his party, or 
even his fidelity to public interests, as giving him any 
claim to place or emolument. That he should have 
been chosen, therefore, by an intensely democratic 
community to represent them in the legislature was 
but a suitable recognition of his ability and worth. 

The session was a stormy one, and issues of great 
moment were under discussion ; but Mr Adams was 
fully equal to the occasion, and never were his ster- 
ling qualities displayed to better advantage. He 
abhorred trickery and chicanery, and fought corrup- 
tion wherever it showed its head with a vehemence 
and persistence that thwarted many an insidious 
measure. None understood better than he the 


schemes of politicians and lobbyists, and none were 
more constant in opposing them. The demagogy of 
the proletariat he hated no less strongly than he 
resented the tyranny of capital, and against both he 
lost no opportunity of uttering his protest. 

Among his constituents it was indeed universally 
admitted that he rendered more efficient service than 
any of their former representatives, and of this we 
have further proof in his appointment to a number of 
important committees, among them being those on 
education, on swamp and overflowed lands, and on 
the culture and improvement of the grape, of the last 
of which he was appointed chairman, in recognition of 
his labors in behalf of the viticultural interests of the 
state. During his term he gained for himself a repu- 
tation as one of the most useful among what may be 
termed the working members of the legislature, as 
one who, though not an orator, was strong in coun- 
sel and in argument, with sound judgment and a wide 
experience, applying himself to the task in hand with 
all the zeal and earnestness characteristic of his 
nature. He was, moreover, a man of progressive 
ideas, full of enterprise and ambition, with great per- 
sonal magnetism, and a rare facility for making 
friends, to whom he was known by the endearing 
sobriquet of Honest Jim. 

Until the close of his life Mr Adams continued to 
take an active part in politics, and was appointed 
after the conclusion of his term a member of the state 
central committee, and of the convention at Los 
Angeles which nominated Swift for governor. He 
was ever a strong republican, esteeming as greatest 
among the roll of our presidents the names of Wash- 
ington, Adams, and Lincoln, for the last of whom he 
voted on his second nomination, regretting only that 
his ballot was not cast for him at his first election. 
Garfield he also considered as one of the most able 
and conscientious of our statesmen, reofardinor his loss 
as a national calamity which could never be repaired. 


The new constitution he condemned as adverse to the 
welfare of the state, and to all labor and other asjrita- 
tions he was strongly opposed, believing that they 
cause the most injury to the very classes whose inter- 
ests they pretend to foster. As to the tariff, he was 
in favor of protection, believing that a policy under 
which the nation has attained to its present era of 
prosperity is the one best fitted to its future needs. 
The Chinese he considered to be a vicious and 
degraded race, and never employed them on his farm 
or in his household if the services of white men could 
be secured. 

Mr Adams Was a member of the masonic fraternity, 
and until his later years an odd fellow, in which 
society he attained to a high degree. Though not 
himself a church member, he was a liberal subscriber 
toward the support of the churches, fully recognizing 
the influence which religion exercises for good on the 
rising generation. His own children he required to 
be punctual in their attendance at church and sab- 
bath-school. On one occasion finding that his son, 
when leaving home for college, had no bible in his 
possession, he at once bought for him a copy, which 
he presented with an injunction to study and profit by 
its teachings. Religious topics he never cared to 
discuss, though himself inclined toward the presby- 
terian faith, of which denomination all his family were 

In February 1857 Mr Adams was married in San 
Francisco to Miss Sarah Elizabeth Cameron, a native 
of Philadelphia, whose parents were of Scotch descent, 
and residents of the north of Ireland. A woman of 
fine appearance, graceful in form, gracious in manner, 
and with a kindness of heart that won the affection of 
all her associates, she was to him a consort in the 
truest sense of the word, one possessed, moreover, of 
perfect health and rare physical endurance, energetic, 
economical, and always takinof her full share of her 
husband's responsibilities. Her decease in 1883, on 


the anniversary of her daughter's birthday, was to all 
the family a grievous attliction, and one from which 
Mr Adams never fully recovered. 

Of their nine children, the two surviving daughters, 
Elizabeth Grace and Ruth Vivian, together with 
Thomas Selby and Frederick Stewart, the youngest 
of their five sons, still reside in Oakland. The eldest 
son, J. E. Adams, is a member of the wholesale 
leather firm of Brown and Adams of San Francisco, 
and. was married to Miss Francis Isabel Perkins, 
daughter of Governor Perkins. W. H. Adams, a 
member of the Stetson-Renner drayage company, mar- 
ried Miss May Fillmore, daughter of Luther Fill- 
more, superintendent of the South Pacific Coast 
railroad, a branch of the Southern Pacific. J. C. 
Adams, an alumnus of Princeton college, class of 
1886, and of the Columbia law school. New York, 
class of 1888, began soon afterward to practise his 
profession in San Francisco. The sons, all develop- 
ing in the full vigor of manhood, inherited the mag- 
nificent physique and intellectual qualities of their 
father in a remarkable degree, the two first displaying 
rare ability for business, the third giving earnest of a 
creditable future in his chosen profession. 

There are none whose loss was more sincerel}'' 
regretted when, on the last day of July 1888, it was 
heard that the well-known face of James Adan)s 
would be seen no more in our midst. A few days 
before his decease he appeared to have fully recov- 
ered from an ailment which, for a man of his vitality, 
was not considered serious. On his way home from 
Adams springs he breathed his last at Calistoga, and, 
to the odd fellows cemetery in San Francisco, where 
he was laid to rest, his remains were followed by a 
vast concourse of mourners, all of whom felt, while 
doing honor to his memory, that one had passed from 
among them who could never be replaced. 

Mr Adams was a man of noble presence, of massive 
but symmetrical build, deep-chested, broad-shouldered, 


and tall of stature, lacking only half an inch of six 
feet in height. His complexion was fresh and ruddy, 
with features of a kindly and good-humored expres- 
sion, as was his natural disposition, though when 
roused, he was one whose anger no one who knew his 
spirit cared to brave. His eyes were large and full, 
grey in color, and expressive of strong feeling and 
purpose. His carriage was easy and graceful, his 
attire neat, and in the ordering of his household he 
displayed a taste for those appointments which com- 
bine utility with elegance. In manner he was genial 
and hearty, yet withal dignified and reserved, admit- 
ting but few into the closer intimacy of his friendship. 
In all his business relations he displayed the most 
positive integrity, fulfilling his promises to the letter. 
On one occasion, after a verbal agreement with a 
friend to sell him a piece of real estate, while the 
papers were being made out, he was offered an advance 
of $2,000, which he of course declined, regarding his 
word as good as his bond, as did all his associates. He 
was keen and ingenious as a trader, and made the best 
bargains he could ; but he never sought an unfair 
advantage, or stooped to any indirection. He hus- 
banded his resources carefully, but he was not a 
niggard, and his purse was opened with discrimination 
to every worthy charity. He was loyal to his adopted 
country, to his family, and to his friends. 

His greatest pleasure was his home, where the many 
who met him remember the warmth of his greeting, 
and his cordial hospitality. As a servant of the peo- 
ple, in whatever position, he earned and has trans- 
mitted to his children a reputation unsullied even by 
imputation of base motive or questionable act ; in a 
word a moral character without a superior in the 
political annals of California. Pity it is that there 
are not more men like him in the public service, for 
even one such example gives tone and character to 
the administration of aflfairs, and leaves an impress for 
good that can never be entirely effaced. 





Ancestry AND Birth — Luther Locke — Education — Journey to'Cali- 
FORNiA — Professional Services — Elmer Hall Locke — Home-Bcild- 


Character and Appearance — Decease — Summary of Career — Sons 
AND Daughters. 

In 1842 there was discovered and draoro-ed from 
its hiding place at the Augmentation office, in West- 
minster hall, London, an old manuscript volume of 
records, containing the names of persons who had 
obtained permission to embark at that port between 
Christmas 1634 and Christmas of the following year. 
The intolerance which prevailed in the reign of James 
I gave an impetus to emigration from England to 
America, which arbitrary measures enacted later 
failed to check. In the time of Charles I many obsta- 
cles were interposed with that view, evidence of which 
is found in the above mentioned volume, where are 
recorded certificates of the administration of the oath 
of supremacy and allegiance required of all who washed 
to emitrrate. 


In an entry dated March 22, 1634 appears the 
name of William Lock, aged six years, who was 
allowed to embark on the Planter, bound for New 
England, and who became the progenitor of him 
whose biography is here presented. 

William Lock was born at Stepney, London, 
December 13, 1628, and was taken to New England 



by one Nicholas Davies, who, there is strong reason 
to suppose, was his uncle. Nothing is known of the 
minority of this ancestor of the Locks in America, 
and particulars of his life are scant, until we find him 
at the age of twenty-seven years married to Mary 
Clark of Woburn, Massachusetts, Since that time 
his career can be followed with tolerable clearness. 
He soon became a landowner and eventually a man 
of wealth. His success in life seems to indicate that 
he possessed in an equal degree the indomitable per- 
severance which was a marked characteristic of his 
descendant. Dean Jewett Locke, who was born nearly 
two centuries after the child emigrant sailed down 
the Thames in the Planter. 

Dean Jewett Locke was born April 16, 1823, at 
Langdon, Sullivan county. New Hampshire. 

His father, Luther Locke, was a trader at that 
place, owning a store in co-partnership with a brother. 
At a somewhat later date, Locke, the elder, engaged 
in the transportation business between the larger 
cities, and during the absence of the father, the mother 
with her boys resided on the farm which she owned 
in the immediate nei2:hborhood of Lang-don. 

Luther Locke, who was a prominent member of 
the congregational church, seems to have displa^^ed 
somewhat of the strictness and severity shown by the 
early puritans in the government of their families. 
As a father he was stern, and lacking in the sympa- 
thy which parents usually feel toward their children. 
Youthful frivolities and indiscretions were rigorously 
checked, and any inclination to deviate from the house- 
hold regulations met with immediate and effectual 
reproof. As a man his conduct in public and private 
life, was governed by the same code of morals ; he 
was strictly honest alike in action and intention ; in 
his dealings with others, and in the expression of his 
opinions, and to him wickedness of any kind was 


Brought up under the somewhat draconian systen 
of such a father, and reared among the rural people, 
hardy and vigorous, whose thrift and industry, sobri- 
ety and reHgious tendencies were ever present before 
him, Dean Jewett acquired decision of character, 
determination, and self-reliance at an unusually early 
age. It is not, therefore, surprising to learn that he 
began to earn his own living after he had reached 
the age of ten years, afterwards passing but little of 
his time at home. But his object in abandoning the 
paternal roof had nothing ignoble about it, on the 
contrary, a laudable and healthy ambition impelled 
him to take this step. He yearned for a better edu- 
cation than he could obtain in the small country town 
that was his birthplace, and he went in search of it. 
A more conspicuous representative of the class of self- 
made men than Dean Jewett Locke can hardly be 
found, even in a country i^rominent for the production 
of this strong and dominant type. 

After undergoing various experiences, we find him, 
when a boy of fourteen, employed as a janitor of an 
academy, his 'services being accepted in payment for 
his tuition. For his board and lodging in the winter 
season he sawed wood, and did the chores about the 
country house where he lived, and in the summer 
labored in the harvest- fields. 

For three years he led this life of toil, and then, 
ever with the same object in view, became teacher in 
a school at Tewksbury, Massachusetts. That he 
could obtain such a position, when no more than 
seventeen years old, is sufficient evidence of his indus- 
try, his proficiency, and his ability. 

At this time, Horace Mann, secretary of the Mas- 
sachusetts board of education, was laboring in the 
cause of normal schools, and their establishment in 
that state. Meeting the young teacher, it was not 
long before he entertained a high appreciation of his 
merits and persuaded him to enter the normal school 
at Bridge water. In March, 1843, Mr Locke gradu- 


ated, and for four years followed the profession of 

Having now arrived at manhood, and obtained a 
sound education through his own efibrts, he chose the 
medical profession as his vocation in life. The calling of 
a teacher had only been adopted as means to an end ; 
and as soon as he had acquired a sufficient amount of 
money for the purpose, he entered Harvard medical 
university, where he remained until the spring of 
1849. He would have graduated in a few months 
but the finding of a little gold in California the year 
before, changed the whole tenor of his life, causing 
him to join the Boston and Newton Joint Stock 
association, bound for the new El Dorado, and com- 
posed of twenty-five members, representing almost 
as many trades and professions. The following were 
the men who composed the company : Jesse Winslow, 
Benjamin Burt, Brackett Lord, David J. Staples, J. 
F. Staples, Geo. Winslow, Robert Coffey, Daniel E. 
Easterbrook, M. J. Ayer, William H. Nichols, Chas. 
Gould, A. C. Sweetser, D. J. Locke, George Thom- 
ason, W. C. Felch, J. St Clair Wilson, -Lewis Whit- 
tier, H. B. Christ, Harry Noyes, Evans, Osborn, 
Wight, Hough, McGrath, Loving. 

On April 16, 1849, the company set forth from 
Boston, Mr Locke being appointed their physician, 
and leaving behind him a younger brother, Elmer 
Hall, at that time undecided as to emigrating, though 
under strong magnetic influence. After a five months' 
journey across the plains, the party arrived at Sacra- 
mento, September 16th, of the same year. During 
the time that Dr Locke remained in the future capital 
of the state — then a city of tents — great demand was 
made upon his medical and surgical skill; and the sick 
and wounded incessantly applied to him for relief. In 
those early days no individual's arrival in a community 
was more quickly known and widely reported than 
that of a doctor, and it was owing to such notoriety 
that Dr Locke participated in one of the striking 


incidents which seem more Hke episodes in romance 
than sober reahty. 

At the request of a stranger, who entreated him 
to hasten to the side of a j^oung man who, it was 
feared, was mortally wounded by a rifle-ball, the doc- 
tor followed his guide to the tent where the injured 
man was lying. As he gazed upon the pallid face of 
the sufl:erer, to his great amazement and grief he 
recognized his brother Elmer who, unknown to him, had 
shortly after his own departure from Boston, embarked 
on a ship bound for California, and had arrived at 
Sacramento about the same time as himself. The 
wound soon yielded to skilful treatment ; it had been 
caused by the careless handling of a rifle by Elmer, 
the weapon having been discharged while pointed 
toward him, and the bullet, striking him near the hip, 
had passed round the spine and lodged in the opposite 
side. To have reached Sacramento in 1849 and not 
to have gone to the mines was hardly to be expected 
among those adventurous spirits who crossed the 
plains that year in search of gold. Accordingly, after 
remaining some time in Sacramento, Dr Locke went 
to Downieville, then to Mississippi bar, on the Amer- 
ican river, and engaged in mining, but more particu- 
larly in trading, always acting as physician when 
opportunity off*ered. But he did not find this mode 
of life in harmony either with his tastes or ambition. 
It can readily be conceived that his surroundings in 
a mining camp in those days could not be congenial 
to him. His previous life had been passed in the pur- 
suit of knowledge ; he had been an instructor in 
various schools, where he had not only been in 
authority, but had learned the art of guiding and 
directing ; and he had a deep-planted devotion to the 
cause of education ; moreover, he was a moral and 
abstemious man, one who looked upon a saloon as a 
curse, and the gambling-table as an institution of 
Satan. A mining town, with its ever wild and fluctu- 
ating community, was not the arena in which he 


would ev^r be able to wield the weapon of Influence ; 
but if he could pioneer the way to the establishment 
of a settlement, and be the founder of a future town, 
his aspirations might to some extent be gratified. 

On the last day of the year 1850, Dr Locke and 
his brother Elmer encamped on a tract of land, lying 
on the Mokelumne, which they had purchased of 
Staples and company who claimed title under a Span- 
ish grant. That claim, however, was afterward io-- 
nored by the government at Washington, and the 
settlers were compelled to repurchase their farms. 
On the summit of an oak-crowned knoll, the pioneers 
built their cabin and entered upon a new phase of life. 
Otlier settlers followed in their wake and a little col- 
ony sprang up, not planted on the unstable founda- 
tions of mining success, but on the durable basis of 
agriculture. As early as 1854 a school district was 
organized, the doctor being elected a member of the 
first board of trustees, an office which he filled almost 
uninterruptedly to the time of his death. 

A permanent home, with bright prospects and an 
honored position among his fellow settlers had now 
been gained — the praises won by the will and perse- 
verance of the man, who, as a child and boy had so 
tenaciously battled for them ; but a still greater prize 
was awaiting him. While occupying the post of tea- 
cher in the district school of North Abington, Mas- 
sachusetts, he had made the acquaintance of Miss 
Delia Marcella Hammond, and hitherward he now 
turned his face. In December, 1854, he went back 
to New England, taking the Nicaragua route, and on 
May 8th, of the following year was united in marriage 
with the object of his love and respect. The newly 
wedded did not remain long in New England, but 
hastened away to their far-distant home accompanied 
by the doctor's father, Luther Locke. They arrived 
in California July 1st, of the same year. 

Dr Locke at once proceeded to erect a suitable resi- 
dence for his bride, and built the first house in what is 


now the town of Lockeford, San Joaquin county. The 
settlement grew rapidly under his enterprising man- 
agement, and in 1862 assisted by Rev. S. V. Blakeslee 
he laid out the town which was named in his honor. 
In the same year the congregational church of 
Lockeford was organized and a postoffice established, 
Luther Locke being appointed first postmaster, a 
position which he held to the time of his death. The 
doctor moreover, in partnership with his father, 
opened the first store in the town at this time. But 
the crowning success of the year was the success 
which attended the first attempt to navigate the 
Mokelumne. On April 5th, the little steamer Pert 
ran up the river, and discharged a cargo of freight at 
Lockeford landing. The excitement was immense, a 
crowd of spectators gathered from the surrounding 
country, having collected on the bank to witness the 
success of the enterprise. It is needless to state that 
Dr Locke was its projector. 

And so it was about almost everything he under- 
took ; his untiring energy, his unremitting persever- 
ance, and his clearness of judgment led to success, 
and whether as stock-raiser, hop-grower, or country 
merchant — for he was engaged in all these occupa- 
tions — failure never pushed him to the wall. He 
was one of those whose brain never rests, ever plan- 
ning, ever on the watch to engage in some enterprise 
tliat might promote not so much his individual wel- 
fare as that of the community. His public-spirit- 
edness and liberality kept him from becoming very 
wealthy ; the greater portion of the fortune which he 
amassed during the years of hard work and economy, 
he devoted to the improvement of the town which he 
had founded, donating lots, erecting public buildings, 
which remain as monuments to his memory, and 
giving encouragement in the form of liberal subcrip- 
tions to any undertaking that he considered con- 
ducive to the benefit of the public. Indeed, so far 
did he carry out this principle of generosity that, 


although his residence was commodious and supplied 
with all the conveniences of life, he denied himself 
many of those esthetic luxuries in which a man of 
his tastes finds enjoyment and relaxation, because he 
looked upon the expenses attending such enjoyment 
as an extravagance that would curtail his means of 
advancing the public weal. His economy and self- 
denial in this respect proclaims the benefactor. 

But the generous promptings of his mind did not 
confine him to the more practical side of benevolence. 
He was a moral philanthropist as well as a public 
benefactor. He could donate lots for churches and 
public buildings but he would not sell one at any 
price for the erection of a saloon thereon. During 
his whole life he abstained from the use of intoxicat- 
ing liquors and tobacco, and his wide experience 
among men having shown him the evil effects of 
stimulants, it was his constant endeavor to try to 
induce young people to follow his example by prac- 
tising total abstinence. He was successively a mem- 
ber of the Dashawa3^s, the sons of temperance and 
the good templars. By his death the cause of tem- 
perance lost one of its staunchest supporters not only 
in Lockeford, but throughout the State of California. 

With regard to the personal appearance of Dr 
Locke, having in mind his rugged training and early 
acquaintance with bodily labor, we are prepared to 
find that he possessed a strong physique, his weight 
being nearly two hundred pounds, and his height five 
feet nine and one-half inches. In youth and early 
manhood his beard and hair, which were very heavy, 
were dark in color, contrasting singularly with his clear 
light complexion. This contrast was brought out 
still more strongly by the color of the eyes which was 
of light blue-gray tints. Toward the close of his life 
the contrast disappeared, as the hair and beard grad- 
ually became almost perfectly white. 

For a quarter of a century after the founding of 
Lockeford, the doctor continued faithfully to perform 


his duties in private and public life. Four years 
before that event took place, he had to mourn the 
loss of his brother Elmer, who died June 28, 1858, 
at the age of thirty-two years. In 1864 Mrs Locke's 
father Mr Hammond, came to California bringinof his 
family, and was made deacon of the congregational 
church and superintendent of the Sunday school of 
Lockeford in 1866. 

About a year before his death, Dr Locke met with 
an accident which had a serious effect upon his con- 
stitution. Being thrown from his buggy he received 
injuries from which he never fully recovered. Al- 
though his indomitable will would not allow him to 
look upon himself as an invalid, and on his partial 
recovery he still continued to attend to business and 
superintend the work of his farm, his former strength 
was gone. When, therefore, he was attacked by 
pneumonia he had no rallying power, and the disease 
made rapid progress. After only four days illness 
the founder of Lockeford, surrounded by his family, 
breathed his last on May 4, 1887 at the age of 64 
years. He was buried on the 8th of the same month, 
that day being the thirty-second anniversary of his 

His career is an index to certain traits of his char- 
acter ; but the gracious qualities which he possessed 
— his courteousness of manner and speech, his gentle- 
ness, the affectionate regard for children evinced in 
days when he taught ; his indulgent kindness as a 
father; and his devotedness as a husband — these 
were only fully known to those who enjoyed intimate 
relations with him. With regard to his political 
views, he was a man of decided convictions. In early 
life he voted the whig ticket ; later the free soil, and 
lastly the republican ticket. His sympathies being 
ever with the oppressed, he was little in sympathy 
with the anti-Chinese movement. 

He left a large family, no less than thirteen sons 
and daughters, seven of the former and six of the lat- 

C. B— 111. 28 


ter, whose names I give in the order of their birth; 
Luther Jewett Locke, Ada, Nathaniel Howard, Hor- 
ace Mann, Ida, Mary, WilUam Willard, Hannah, John 
Calvin, Edward Moore, Eunice, George Hammond, 
and Theresa. 



Fruit-geowing in California — The Strentzel Family — Early Life 
AND Education of John Theophil Strentzel — Marriage — Coming 
TO THE Pacific Coast — Pioneer Experiences — Trials and Vicissi- 
tudes — Home near Martinez — Politics and Religion — Traits 
AND Characteristics. 

Prominent among advancing industries is fruit- 
growing in California, which desirable pursuit has 
brought into its service large capital and the best 
scientific and practical ability. And it is now uni- 
versally admitted that whoever aids the best develop- 
ment of an interest like this renders the state a ser- 
vice. For such a service acknowledgments are due 
to John Theophil Strentzel, whose earnest work and 
able writings in behalf of horticultural progress have 
won him widely-known honor. 

Lublin, in Poland, was his native city, where he 
was born November 29, 1813. His father, John 
Strentzel, was born in Pomerania, in the year 1771. 
His mother's maiden name was Sophia Meizner, born 
in Lublin in 1775. They were married in 1803, were 
extensive owners of city property, and had a laro^e 
family of children, all of whom died before reachino- 
maturity, excepting John Theophil, one sister and 
one brother. His parents and grandparents were 
protestants, and brought up their children in the 
Lutheran faith, although residing in a catholic commu- 
nity. Several uncles served with distinction in the 



Polish army, two as surgeons. It was a happy- 
household, the domestic relations all beingr harmo- 
nious, and their qondition comfortable. The parents 
were kind but nrm with their children, order and 
decorum being observed at all times. The father 
owned an orchard and fruit garden near the town, 
thus implanting in the children a love of country life 
and horticulture. 

John Theophil's school life began at the age of six 
years, continuing uninterruptedly until his seventeenth 
year. His father intended him for a physician and 
his studies were directed to that end. His school- 
mates and associates were the sons of officials and 
the nobility. The revolution in Poland in 1830 
changed the whole tenor of his life, entering the army 
of volunteers and servino: until its final disbandment 
in 1831. The younger men who had joined the 
patriot forces were immediately forced into the Rus- 
sian army. With John it was either this or exile, and 
he chose the latter, though accompanied with serious 
difficulties. By the good offices of influential friends 
he was permitted to reside in upper Hungary for sev- 
eral years, gaining information in the wine trade and 
vineyard culture. 

He resumed his medical studies in the university of 
Pesth, and was awarded a medical diploma. A 
broader field of action now offered by emigrating to 
America, which was done in 1840, in company with 
his brother. Landing at New Orleans he proceeded 
to Louisville, joined the Peterson colonization com- 
pany, and went to Trinity river in Texas. He built 
a cabin on the site of the present city of Dallas, where 
he remained a year when, the company failing, he 
returned to the settlements. It was a wild life on 
the Trinity, the country being then but a primeval 
wilderness. Fortunately there were no Comanches 
near, but all around him were numerous deserted 
camps strewed with bleaching bones. Buffalo, deer, and 
all manner of game were plentiful and he became a most 


successfal hunter. He then purchased a homestead 
m Lamar county, and followed his profession of phy- 
sician and surgeon for a number of years. 

On December 31, 1843, Dr Strentzel married 
Louisiana Erwin, who was born October 31, 1821, in 
Lawrence county, Tennessee ; which proved a truly 
happy union. Mrs Strentzel's father, Samuel Erwin, 
was a Virginian who when young had emigrated to 
Kentucky and married a daughter of General Rife; 
but she dying in about three years, he went to the 
new Chicasaw purchase, or western district of Ten- 
nessee, following surveying for a number of years. 
He married the daughter of Mansel Crisp ; and in 
1837 removed with his family to Fannin county, 
Texas, where he resided until his death in 1854. He 
was a large, fine-looking man, well educated, gentle- 
manl}'- and courteous in deportment, and a most 
upright and honest man. The mother was a delicate, 
refined woman, very domestic in her tastes, very 
religious, a member of the Christian church, and 
thoroughly devoted to her family. 

Dr Strentzel's attention was first drawn to the 
Pacific coast through the glowing reports of Fremont, 
and, in the spring of 1849, he joined a company of 
about one hundred and thirty-five persons, and with 
his family set out on his journey across the plains on 
the 22d of March. No pathfinder had yet marked 
a trail across that region to El Paso, so they were 
forced to find their own road for eight hundred miles. 
There were nine women and twenty-five children in 
the train, the former showing great courage in thus 
committing themselves to the perils of a hostile wil- 
derness ao-ainst the entreaties of their friends. Though 
seldom molested by the Indians, they suffered greatly 
at times for want of water. On the desert before 
reaching El Paso, they travelled for days finding only 
alkaline water, and the whole train became fearfully 
exhausted. Mrs Strentzel was dangerously ill with 
fever, her life ^Vtt^J despaired of, when, almost 


miraculously, the water hunters came upon some 
pools of pure water in a ridge of sand-hills about 
ten miles away, which was reached with the utmost 

Arriving at El Paso on the 2d of July, they cele- 
brated the Fourth in camp, the Mexicans being 
friendly and hospitable. The company there broke 
up and scattered, some remaining at this point, some 
returning home, while the remainder re-organized and 
resumed their journey through the hostile Apaches 
to the gold fields of California. They crossed the 
Rio Grande on a raft a hundred miles above El Paso, 
the river running full and swiftly: thence to the Gila 
the journey was very pleasant, grass and water being 
abundant, and no trouble from the Indians. The 
})arby rested a day or two at each Mexican village, 
Santa Cruz and Tucson, and visited the old Mission 
church of San Xavier, passing several old deserted 
ranchos with orchards full of luscious peaches, and 
finding plenty of game. A number of wild cattle 
were killed by the party. Down the Gila to the 
crossing of the Colorado the way was sandy and the 
journey exceedingly difficult. At the Pima villages 
they purchased wheat to feed their famished teams. 
The seeds of the mesquite proved also a nutritious 
food for the animals. At the crossinor of the Colo- 
rado they found a company of soldiers under Lieuten- 
ant Couts, stationed there for the protection of emi- 
grants. While they were encamped on the river bank 
awaiting their turn to cross there occurred a terrible 
accident. Captain Thorn, who was on his way to 
California with a company of United States Dragoons, 
accidentally fell from the boat with three of his soldiers 
and all were drowned. Captain Thorn's body was 
recovered and sent to his family in New York. 
Lightening their train of all superfluous encum- 
brance, the weary travellers then struck out across 
the Mohave desert, but suff^^red terribly from hot 
sand-storms and the lack of water, They arrived at 


Warner's rancho on the 8th of November, where they 
rested a week and were most kindly treated ; thence 
they proceeded to San Diego, intending to go by 
steamer to San Francisco, but, being unable to sell 
their animals at anything near their value they con- 
cluded to go up the coast by land. 

How seemingly insignificant are the events which 
rule one's destiny at such a time 1 Had Dr Strentzel 
gone to San Francisco by the ocean way his whole 
future life would have been entirely different, whether 
for better or worse no one can say. After remaining 
six weeks at the old Mission of San Diego, the party 
set out on this most delightful portion of their long 
and arduous journey. The weather was warm, the 
hills and valleys covered with wild oats and clover, 
with wild flowers in great profusion, and endless 
masses of eschscholtzia appearing at a distance like 
flames of fire. Arriving at the Tuolumne river on 
the 14th of April, the Doctor was so much pleased 
with the prospect that he concluded to settle there ; 
and thus ended a journey of nearly thirteen months. 
Selecting a beautiful location about two miles below 
La Grange, the nearest mining camp, he put up large 
tents and established a ferry, hotel and store. The 
prices of everything were very high; hired help one 
hundred and twenty-five dollars a month ; flour sixty 
dollars a hundred; milk a dollar a quart; and fresh 
butter three dollars a pound. Life here was varied 
and exciting. There was a good deal of travel from 
Stockton and Mariposa. One day Dr Strentzel would 
entertain Colonel Fremont, Lieutenant Beale, General 
Miller, and other noted persons ; perhaps the next, a 
band of desperadoes passing through the country on 
their way to murder and robbery. The country 
around was infested by grizzly bears, and on one 
occasion Dr Strentzel came near losing his life from 

Mrs Strentzel's health was now so much impaired 
that her recovery seemed very doubtful. For three 


years and four months she was confined to her bed, 
unable to walk, and in almost a helpless condition : 
but, contrary to all expectations she finally recovered 
and has enjoyed comparatively good health ever since. 
As she required the Doctor's constant attention all 
this time, and the most careful nursing, he concluded 
to give up his interests here and try farming and 
stock-raising. In company with his brother he pur- 
chased six hundred acres of choice land on the Merced 
river, about six miles below Snellings. On the place 
was a comfortable log cabin. They hurriedly cleared 
about ten acres and planted all the varieties of vege- 
table and fruit seeds they could obtain, paying most 
exorbitant prices for the same. For example, twenty 
dollars a pound for onion seed. They planted in nur- 
sery, some fruit trees purchased in San Jose at three 
dollars apiece. Everything grew luxuriantly, giving 
promise of abundant harvest ; but the spring floods 
covered the whole from five to ten feet deep and the 
fine garden was completely swept away. Then they 
cleared and planted another plot of land to vegetables 
for a summer crop, which was also destroyed by the 
rise in the river. The winter overflow about Christ- 
mas covered the whole valley from bluff' to bluff', the 
water reaching a depth of three feet in their house. 
It came about midnight pouring itself over the floor 
until the fire in the stove was put out, and it had 
almost reached the bed whereon lay the invalid wife. 
The Doctor was entirely without help, his brother 
and the hired man having gone to the Tuolumne 
river. They had been caught in the storm on their 
return and were unable to cross the sloughs. In like 
manner he was cut off" from all aid from the neighbors 
as there was no way possible for them to reach his 
house. The water continued rising and the Doctor 
realizing the danger to the sick one, if the flood should 
cover the bed, tore up a floor plank, inserted one end 
in the wall under the bedstead, raising it half a foot, 
and placing the other end of the plank on a table, in 


this way kept his wife and children above the water. 
Meanwhile, trees, fences, and all kinds of debris went 
floating by. For three fearful hours it was expected 
every moment that the house would go, but it stood 
firm and the inmates were saved. About three 
o'clock in the afternoon the waters began to subside, 
and by daylight next morning had entirely disappeared. 
The terrible exposure through which Dr Strentzel 
passed and the further living in the damp house to 
which he was forced, brought on a severe attack of 
pneumonia, and for many days he lay hovering 
between life and death. Having naturally weak 
lungs he was left, on recovering, in a very feeble 
state, and to his death was never entirely relieved 
from the effects of that illness. 

As soon as he was able to travel, the doctor 
resolved to leave the Merced river forever. He 
tried at first Santa Cruz, conveying his wife, by 
wagon, in a swinging bed, to Stockton, and thence 
by steamer, but, after six weeks sojourn in Santa 
Cruz, he found the climate unsuited to his weak 
lungs; and concluded to go to Benicia, attracted 
thither by the delightful climate and fine harbor. 
The state capital had recently been removed to 
that place and the legislature was then in ses- 
sion. Meeting an old neighbor from home, at that 
time residing in the town of Martinez just across 
the straits, he informed the doctor of a beautiful 
sheltered valley back of the town that he thought 
would suit him, as it had just the climate that the 
doctor was seeking. He immediately went over to 
see the place and was so charmed with it that he at 
once resolved to make this his future home. Here 
was a lovely fertile valley protected by high hills 
from the cold winds and fogs of San Francisco ; a 
stream of living water flowing through it; the hills 
and valleys partially covered with magnificent laurel, 
live-oak and white-oak trees; and everywhere a green 
mantle of wild oats. Dr Strentzel knew at once 


that the valley was well adapted to fruit growing 
and he said to himself, " Here I can realize my 
long cherished dream of a home, surrounded by 
orange groves, and all beautiful fruits and flowers, 
where I can literally rest under my own vine and 
fig tree." He immediately purchased twenty acres, 
at fifty dollars an acre, of the richest valley land, 
two and a half miles from town, and removed his 
family thither, arriving on the 4th of April 1853. 
The valle}^ at that time was known as *' Canada 
del Hambre," or valley of hunger, so named by a 
party of Mexican soldiers sent by the governor of 
California to chastise some Indians, and who, failing 
to obtain sufficient provisions, in their disgust called 
it hungry valley. Mrs Strentzel was much displeased 
with the name, and remembering Irving's glowing 
description of the Moorish paradise, decided to 
christen the new home " Alhambra," and the valley 
has ever since been called Alhambra valley. 

** It would lengthen this narrative too much" says 
Dr Strentzel, *' were I to write of all the ups and 
downs, trials and vicissitudes, which I passed through 
during the first years of my long residence here, of the 
many difficulties I had to contend with in that early day 
in obtaining the right kind of seeds and trees for plant- 
ing, often receiving invoices of trees and plants untrue 
to label, of the many losses and disappointments through 
inexperienced and unreliable help, but by energy and 
perseverance, and unremitting attention to business, 
I succeeded in overcoming all obstacles. When my 
first tract of land was filled out I purchased more, and 
continued to purchase when needed, or opportunity 
offered, and plant from year to year up to the present 
time. My brother remained with me until his death 
in 1865. He was very energetic, a kind-hearted 
benevolent man, and his death was a great blow to 
me. But the greatest trial of our lives was the death 
of our only son, a bright promising boy of nine years, 
who died of diphtheria in September 1857. For years, 


we were inconsolable. The light and hope of our 
lives seemed to have gone out with him. And now 
in our old age we feel the need of him even more 
than we did at first. 

" Our daughter Louise Wanda was educated in 
Benicia, at the Atkin seminary for young ladies. 
She is intelligent and intellectual, a lover of the 
beautiful in nature and art, is passionately fond of 
flowers and music, benevolent and kind to every one, 
ever ready to relieve sufl^ering, and assist in all good 
works, and is a most devoted mother. She is mar- 
ried to John Muir the well-known geologist and 
botanist, and has two lovely daughters, Wanda and 
Lilian. She always has been a great comfort and 
help to her parents. At her marriage I gave her 
the old home, and built for myself a new one down 
the valley, one mile nearer town. My faithful com- 
panion and I live very comfortably and quietly in 
our declining years. We have a commodious house 
with pleasant surroundings, in the midst of orchards 
and vineyards, in full view of Martinez and Benicia, 
and the two overland railroads, the central and south- 
ern Pacific." 

In politics Dr Strentzel was a republican and 
always took a deep interest in the welfare of his 
adopted country, having an abiding faith in American 
institutions and the integrity of the union. The 
Chinese question should be emphatically met. He 
had no faith in creeds or dogmas, but believed in pure 
religion that teaches love to God and our fellow-men. 
He ever stood with open hands ready to assist in 
building churches and aiding all religious and educa- 
tional institutions tending to the amelioration and 
happiness of mankind. He had a firm and enduring 
faith in immortality. 

He took an active interest in the Grange from its 
organization as a social and educational institution, 
and believed that much good could be accomplished 


through it if the original inception of its founders 
could be faithfully carried out. 

Mr Strentzel died at Martinez on the 31st of 
October, 1890, beloved, and his death lamented by 
all who knew him. 

In person he was of medium height, slender build, 
blue eyes, brown curly hair turned very white, and 
florid complexion. He was earnest in conversation, 
abstemious in diet, not using: alcoholic stimulants or 
tobacco. Throughout his whole life he endeavored 
to act fairly and equitably with his fellow-men in 
strict accordance with the golden rule ; and always 
taking pleasure in assisting the needy according to 
his ability. Of late years, with his devoted wife, 
realizing that their work was drawing to a close, that 
their life's journey was well-nigh ended, they have felt 
that they were nearing the border land and calmly 
and peacefully awaited the summons to cross the 




John D. Stephens in the Valley of California — Cattle-stealing and 
Land-grabbing — John B. Rohrer as Miner and Stock-raiser— Jef- 
ferson G. James as Pioneer, Stock-raiser, and Prominent Citizen 
— Samuel Jackson as Miner and Stock-raiser — N. D. Julien as 
Merchant and Farmer — W. F. Downing as Dairyman and Citizen. 

k ■ 

f In this chapter I place side by side certain promi- 
nent men in about the same sphere of hfe, in order to 
bring out their several individualities in clearer and 
stronger light, for in comparative analysis there is 
often the most effectual work. Few of the first- 
comers, after the discovery of gold, engaged at once 
in agriculture. It was only after some mining or 
other experience, unattended perhaps by any marked 
success, that the possibilities of the soil for produc- 
tion, the country for absorbing, and of commerce for 
moving the products began to attract attention. And 
even then, when all else seemed to fail it may be, it 
was only the wiser and more thoughtful who were at 
all able to look far enough into the future to see what 
might some day be done in this direction, or even to 
dream that farming could ever at any time be better 
than mining or merchandising. 

• It is true that before the discovery of gold, the soil 
and climate were the chief or only attractions; but in 
the mind of the emigrant of 1846, or thereabout, the 
soil was not for cultivation, but for grazing purposes. 



The great valley of California, particularly the 
northern and middle portions of it, was but little bet- 
ter than a wilderness, though one of the most beauti- 
ful wilds of nature that the sun ever shone upon, 
when there appeared upon the scene a party of emi- 
grants, among whom was John Dickson Stephens and 
his associates from Missouri, who began to test the 
possibilities of that region for the maintenance of 
civilized communities. The superficial efforts in this 
direction had thus far been confined to the strip of 
seaboard extending from San Diego to San Francisco 
bays, where it was clearly proved that from a little 
scratching of the soil great returns would follow. 
But in the vast and sometimes called arid plain back 
of the Coast range the problem had yet to be solved 
whether or not cattle-raising and grain-growing could 
be made profitable. To the solution of this problem 
Mr Stephens early devoted his energies, and with 
what success will be fully shown by this narrative of 
his life. 

John Dickson Stephens was born on the spot 
where now stands the town of Bunceton, Cooper 
county, Missouri, on the 23d day of September 1826. 
His father, Joseph Stephens, was a native of Virginia, 
and the son of Welch parents, who immigrated to 
America prior to the revolutionary war. His mother, 
nee Catherine Dickson, was the daughter of Josiah 
and Isabella Dickson, both of whom were born in 
Scotland, and of old-fashioned presbyterian stock, 
which probably had some influence in imparting to 
him many of those high principles of honor and integ- 
rity which he possesses. The elder Stephens removed 
to Missouri in 1817. He was in comfortable circum- 
stances, and a successful stock-raiser and farmer in a 
then sparsely settled portion of Missouri. During 
the years of his youth, therefore, John had but few 
associates beyond those of his immediate relatives. 
He was one of twenty-four children, and the offspring 


of the second wife of his father, who had four sons 
and five daughters, of whom he was the second child. 

His father was a man whose character was unim- 
peachable, and his word was as good as his bond. 
While exercising stern discipline in his family and 
instilling the strictest moral principles, he was not 
averse to engaging in such recreations as were appro- 
priate, pleasing, and healthful. At that time the 
surrounding country was infested with wolves, foxes, 
and deer, and the settlers frequently engaged in the 
chase, meeting together for a day's sport. He kept 
a large pack of hounds, and a number of good horses — 
horse-breeding being, indeed, an industry as well as a 
pastime — and these expeditions were looked forward 
to by the young folks with the greatest pleasure. 

Young Stephens acquired his education at a private . 
school, as at that time there was no public school in 
this section of the state. It included all the higher 
English branches, though his tastes and ability 
inclined to mathematics. His tutors were trained 
instructors, and men of learning. After completing 
his course, he taught school for two years, up to 1846, 
when, war with Mexico having been declared, his 
patriotism led him to join the service, and he enlisted 
in a company then being organized in Cooper county, 
Missouri, of which his relative, Joseph L. Stephens, 
was elected captain, and he was chosen first sergeant, 
being mustered into service at St Louis in June 1846. 
About this time news was received that General 
Taylor had gained an important victory, and the 
company was ordered home to be held in readiness 
for active service, though it was never called upon, 
and at the close of the war was disbanded. 

Mr Stephens then commenced the study of medi- 
cine, which he diligently pursued until the news of 
the discovery of gold in California created such an 
excitement in the Atlantic states chat he determined 
to investigate the matter. With his brother, George 
D., and a few relatives, he joined a company of moun- 


taineer trappers at Independence, consisting of about 
forty-five persons, and the party was so thoroughly 
mounted, equipped, and organized that the trip to 
CaUfornia was one of pleasure rather than a hardship. 
They travelled by the way of South pass, Fort 
Bridger, and Salt Lake, and were piloted by two of 
Fremont's men, one of whom was Captain Cosgrove. 
Reaching Sacramento August 1, 1849, they went 
immediately to the mines near Mormon island, on the 
American river, and commenced operations with the 
pan and rocker. The net results were not satisfactory 
to John D. Stephens, as he could earn only about 
eight dollars per day, and after spending about one 
month in the mines he passed the winter in Sacra- 
mento and Yolo counties, examining the country with 
a view to raising cattle. The Yolo plains were cov- 
ered with wild oats and other grasses, and there were 
but few white men in the county at the time. William 
Gordon, J. R Wolfskill, William Knight, and Paddy 
Clark were the sole residents of that portion of the 
country west of the tules. Stephens selected his 
land, and settling in the valley near the present town 
of Madison, entered upon the business of cattle- 

When leaving his home, he and his brother had 
taken the precaution to bring with them sufificient 
money to carry them back, but after a year's residence 
in California they became so attached to the country 
and the climate that they had no desire to return, 
and decided to sell their farms in Missouri. 

In the year 1850 Mr Stephens tested the qualities 
of the soil for producing small grain, and his experi- 
ment proved a success. He planted a crop of barley, 
though merely for feeding stock, for at that time the 
market was too far away to think of raising grain for 
shipment. This was about the first trial of the capa- 
bilities of the land for the cultivation of cereals in 
this section of the state, and the yield was abundant. 

In 1851 John D. and George D. Stephens, John 


Q. Adams, and John S. Jurey purchased about a 
league and a half of the Mexican grant known as the 
Rancho Canada de Capay. This is considered the 
choicest piece of land in the county, situated in 
the valley below the mouth of Capay canon, with 
Cache creek running through it. The same parties 
were interested with him in raising cattle and other 
stock, though in the management of all their affairs, 
he took a leading part, and they continued to prosper, 
making frequent trips to Missouri for cattle, mules, 
and horses, until with the decrease in mining and the 
increase in farming, the business became less remu- 
nerative. In 1856 Jurey sold his interest in the grant 
to the Stephens brothers, and a few years later, that 
of J. Q. Adams was transferred to them, and to a 
kinsman of the latter. To avoid annoyance from 
squatters, John D. Stephens repaired to Washington 
city and secured a patent for the land. 

In the early days in California cattle-stealing and 
land-grabbing were considered crimes demanding capi- 
tal punishment, and Ijaiching the usual mode of exe- 
cution. Mr Stephens was connected with one case of 
Ijaiching a thief who had stolen cattle from him and 
his neiojhbors, and one wherein he defended a neio-h- 
bor ao'ainst four land-o^rabbers, when two of them 
were seriously shot. In both cases he was tried by 
the lawfully constituted tribunal and honorably 

After ceasing to raise cattle on an extensive scale, 
Mr Stephens and his brother established an agency 
in Ohio for the purchase of fine horses and brood 
mares, which were brought to California, and with 
this was combined the business of raising mules, 
which was also a source of profit, valuable animals 
being bought for this purpose. Mr Stephens has 
been tireless in his efforts to improve the grade of his 
stock, and on their extensive ranch can now be seen 
fine stock of all descriptions, including game chickens, 
swine, sheep, Durham cattle, mules and horses. 

C. B.— III. 29 


During the year 1856 he purchased and drove to 
his rancho about two thousand head of sheep from 
Rowles & Rawson, who were engaged in the business 
on land now covered by the cit}^ of Oakland. This 
was the first attempt at sheep husbandry on a large 
scale in Yolo county. From its first organization till 
1864 he was a constant patron of the state fair, and 
was always successful in securing premiums on the 
merits of his fine stock. As an instance of his pride in 
the way of improving stock, he and his brother bought 
the celebrated Southdown ram "The World's Prize," 
which had taken the premium at all the important 
fairs in Europe, including those held at Berlin, Lon- 
don, and Paris prior to 1860. It was imported by 
Mr Taylor of New Jersey, and for this animal Mr 
Stephens paid $2,000, shipping it to California in 1862. 

On the first of April 1861, Mr Stephens took pas- 
sage on a vessel for New York, having with him his 
wife and daughter, for the purpose of visiting Mis- 
souri. They travelled by way of Nicaragua, and 
after leaving Greytown, the officers of the vessel were 
astonished at the scarcity of sails on the ocean, which 
astonishment increased until they arrived in New 
York harbor, and learned that the civil war had 
begun in earnest. From New York they proceeded 
to St Louis, via Cincinnati, and the sound of fife and 
drum and the call " to arms" were heard at every 
station on the way. Being a man of keen observa- 
tion and excellent judgment, he was not slow in mak- 
ing up his mind as to the final result. During his 
stay at his old home in Cooper county he witnessed 
some exciting scenes, as that part of the state was, at 
the time, the seat of war, and within a few miles of 
the place he was visiting were fought the battles of 
Boonville, where General Lyon drove Price to Wilson 
creek, and of Wilson creek where Lyon was killed. 
The noise of cannon at Boonville was very distinct, 
and stragglers from the army passed the house, ter- 
ror-stricken and demoralized. He remained in the 


east until the following autumn, and after placing his 
daagliter in a female seminary at Tipton, Missouri, 
returned to California. , In 1862 he again visited the 
east, this time going by way of Panamd, and remain- 
ing during the following winter and spring. 

In his political creed Mr Stejjhens has always been 
a democrat, as was his father before him ; the latter 
beino- a PTeat admirer of Jackson and Benton, after 
whom he named two of his sons. Though never a 
candidate for office, he has always taken an active 
interest in national, state, and county politics. He 
considers that of all the modern statesmen, Samuel J. 
Tilden and James G. Blaine stood at the head of the 
two parties in point of ability. Though a firm sup- 
porter of his party, he thinks that honesty, integrity, 
and ability should control in the selection of all civil 

His theory in regard to labor and capital is that 
their relations should be reciprocal, and that where 
invested capital is receiving but a moderate income, 
labor should be regulated accordingly, and the bur- 
dens of one borne equally by the other. He is also 
of opinion that a tariff, framed solely with a view to 
revenue, would be the most beneficial to the govern- 
ment. His ideas in regard to railroads, which he 
considers the most dangerous of monopolies, are, that 
the power which grants franchises, whether state or 
national, should have the right to regulate them and 
adjust all differences arising between the corpora- 
tion and the people. Aggregated capital in corporate 
bodies is dangerous because it remains intact, while 
that which is in the hands of individuals is distributed 
at their death. 

The question of immigration he regards from the 
true American standpoint, and is in favor of checking 
the constant influx from Europe of the pauper element 
now crowding into the United States. He is also of 
opinion that a law restricting the immigration of 
Chinese, though not entirely in sympathy with the 


present law, is essential to the welfare of the country, 
and that by the time the Mongolian population shall 
have disappeared, through the operations of the exist- 
ing law, the Caucasian race will be educated to take 
their places in the workshops and other branches of 
industry, but that a sudden expulsion would prove 
disastrous. The elective franchise, he thinks, should 
be securely guarded by some qualification that would 
insure a responsible and intelligent use of the ballot. 
He believes that the perpetuity of the government is 
based upon the social equality of citizens, and hence 
no aristocracy, in the usual acceptation of that term, 
can ever exist in this country so long as it remains a 
republic. The true aristocrat is the individual of good 
morals, strict integrity, noble instincts, and high 

While thus entertaining sound practical views as 
to the affairs of the nation, his own enterprises and 
liberality have contributed in no small degree to the 
welfare of the state. In 1859 he organized the Capay 
Ditch company, of which he was appointed president, 
for the purpose of conveying the water from Cache 
Creek canon to the valley, whereupon a preliminary 
survey was made, though actual work was not begun 
until the dry season of 1864. During that year sev- 
eral miles of ditch were constructed, and a few years 
afterward the canal was sunk to a level with the bed 
of the creek at its headwaters; and since that time 
water has been used by the people for irrigation. It 
is about ten miles in length, terminating near the 
town of Madison. 

In 1864 he went to Virginia City, Nevada, taking 
with him a considerable amount of capital wherewith 
to operate among the business men and miners. 
There were others occupying the same field, and 
while taking stock as surety they would often go to 
bed rich and arise poor, their security having faded 
away during the night. After an experience of three 
years, Mr Stephens was justified in entertaining a fair 



opinion of his financial abilities, for he found that he 
had as much money remaining as he brought with 
him to Virginia City. 

Keturning from Nevada, he made an overland trip 
to San Diego, in company with Major Wilcoxson, in 
search of o^razino; lands. Not findingf sufficient induce- 
nients, he returned to Yolo county, where he decided 
to organize a bank in Woodland, the county-seat, and 
a flourishing town of about one thousand inhabitants. 
He presented the subject to a few of the more wealthy 
citizens, who seemed to be favorably impressed, and, 
as his custom was to act promptly, the capital was at 
once subscribed, and the Bank of Woodland was 
established and incorporated in 1868, with a capital 
stock of $100,000. • The officers elected were tfohn 
D. Stephens, president ; F. S. Freeman, vice-president ; 
and C. W. Bush, cashier. The business was a success 
from the start ; and the capital stock has gradually 
increased from time to time until it reaches the sum 
of $921,000. Since the organization of the bank it 
has been under the direct management of Mr Stephens, 
who has held office continually, and his administration 
has been so entirely satisfactory that none of the 
stockholders have ever desired a change. During 
this time, also, all the first officers of the bank have 
been retained except the cashier, whose position is 
now held by C. F. Thomas, elected in place of Mr 
Bush. Since the organization of the bank over $900,- 
000 have been paid in dividends. 

]\Ir Stephens has always been a liberal patron of 
educational institutions. He assisted in establishing 
at an early day the Hesperian academy, in Woodland, 
is still a member of the board of trustees, and when 
it was incorporated as a college, and an endowment 
was asked for, he headed the list with a donation 
twice as large as that of any other subscriber. To all 
benevolent enterprises he has been a liberal giver, and 
but few churches in Yolo county have been erected 
without his financial aid. While not a member of 


any church organization, his assistance has always 
been extended to these civilizing institutions. He 
has been a member of the masonic fraternity for about 
thirty -five years, and is a charter meniber of the 
Woodland Commandery of Knights Templar, of which 
he has occupied the position of Eminent Commander. 
He is also a member of the Sacramento Society of 
California Pioneers the California Historical Society, 
and has been a member of the Union Club of San 
Francisco since 1883. 

In 1871 the Pneumatic Gas company of San Fran- 
cisco attempted to furnish light for the town of Wood- 
land, but after an unsuccessful run of a year or two, 
the works were purchased by a home association, of 
which Mr Stephens was president, and under the new 
management coal gas has been used with success. 

In 1872 J. W. Peek undertook by his own indi- 
vidual enterprise to furnish water for the town, and 
after succeeding in putting the works in operation, 
the supply proved both costly and insufficient ; Mr 
Stephens again came to the front, and, with two ether 
enterprising men, furnished an abundant supply, suffi- 
cient for all demands for steam fire-engines, and 
domestic use. 

As to the future of California, he thinks that her 
beneficent climate and productive soil will induce 
many to come to this coast who may prefer to reside 
here permanently, even at a sacrifice of business inter- 
ests, and that within twenty years real estate values 
will increase one hundred per cent over what they 
are now in this section of the state. He believes that 
within that time the population of California will not 
be less than 3,000,000. 

Mr Stephens was married on the 4th of January 
1854 to Mary F. Alexander, at Bellair, Missouri. 
His wife's family were of Scotch descent, and settled 
in Virginia at an early day, the city of Alexandria being 
named after her grandfather. A native of Kentucky, 
whence the family removed in 1845, she is a highly 


educated and accomplished lady, possessed of remark- 
able diijfnitv and orace. Three children were the 
issue of this marriage, of whom the two youngest 
died ill infancy, and the surviving;- dauohter is now 
living, the wife of Joseph Craig, at one time state 
senator from the tenth district of San Francisco, and 
at present a member of the board of state prison 

Mr Stephens' home in Woodland is a neat and 
tasteful abode, built in the most modern style, with 
large and beautiful grounds occupying an entire block 
in the southern portion of the town, and standing in 
the midst of a forest of shade-trees. Around it is an 
orange grove in full bearing, with magnolias, palms, 
cedars of Lebanon, and almost every variety of trees, 
including native oaks, while the lawn is covered with 
blue grass and a carriage drive of concrete stone leads 
from the street to its front. His house is well fur- 
nished with every comfort and in his trim and well- 
kept garden-plat flowers of every variety bloom in 

Amongj his tastes is a fondness for relics, and from 
every portion of the world in which he has travelled 
he has samples of their peculiar products. His cabi- 
net of curios is one of the richest and most complete 
in the country, and he has specimens from all the 
rich gold and silver mines, together with most of the 
minerals of this country ; molten lava from the crater 
of Vesuvius and Kilauea, and costly paintings from 
his native and other lands. While in Honolulu he 
purchased one of the masterpieces of Travernier, a 
picture of the burning lake in the crater of Kilauea. 

In physique and appearance he is a man five feet 
ten inches in height, and with a compact and well- 
knit frame, his weight being one hundred and eighty 
pounds. His features are regular, with a broad, 
capacious forehead, steel-gray eyes, light brown hair, 
full whiskers, of a light color, and both hair and 
whiskers tinted with gray. From his father he 


inherited great firmness of character, with principles 
of tlie strictest rectitude, and habits of economy ; 
and from his mother, a kind and Hberal disposition ; 
for, while he holds in high appreciation the honor 
and dignity of true manhood, his benevolence and 
liberality have ever been conspicuous. He is not 
what might be called a fluent conversationalist, but 
expresses his ideas briefly, and to the point. He is 
never taken by surprise in conversation, is a ready 
reader of character, and makes but few mistakes in 
his estimates. In business he is punctual and is 
generally better satisfied when he attends to it him- 
self. To this may be largely attributed the fact that 
he has never engaged in any enterprise that has not 
been a success. He has strong sympathies for the 
unfortunate and is always ready to extend relief to 
the distressed, though no one will ever know the 
extent of his private charities, while many have felt 
them, for his liberality is proverbial. He has been 
the promoter and patron of almost every work of 
public necessity and improvement in the town of 
Woodland, and to none of the pioneers is northern 
California more deeply indebted for the development 
of her manifold resources. 

While Mr Stephens has been very successful in his 
business ventures, he has not been so deeply immersed 
therein as to deny himself all pleasures and recrea- 
tion, having travelled extensively both in Europe 
and America. In 1876 he attended the centennial 
celebration at Philadelphia, visiting nearly all the 
Atlantic states and Canada, and was present at the 
democratic national convention at St Louis, which 
nominated Samuel J. Tilden. In 1878 he took atrip 
to Europe, visiting the ancient ruins, wonders, and 
curiosities of the old world. He travelled in Eng- 
land, Ireland, Scotland, France, Germany, Belgium, 
Switzerland, Italy, Austria, and Prussia, and was 
particularly interested in examining the famous bat- 
tle-field of Waterloo. During his stay in Paris, he 


celebrated the Fourth of July m company with other 
Americans. In 1881 he made a trip to Chicago, 
together with W. G. Hunt of Woodland, combining 
business with pleasure. In 1883 he visited the Yel- 
lowstone National park, going by way of Salt Lake, 
and returning by the Northern Pacific railroad, vis- 
iting Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia. 
In 1885 he attended the New Orleans exposition, 
and also made a tour of several of the southern 

In 1887 he accompanied the masonic expedition to 
the Sandwich islands. During his stay there he vis- 
ited all the principal cities and towns and the natural 
curiosities of that group of islands, including the 
famous volcano of Kilauea and the crater of Haleakala. 

In 1888, in company with a number of Woodland 
and San Francisco friends, he made a trip to Alaska 
for the purpose of investigation and to see the wonders 
of that country. He visited Glazier bay, Sitka, Fort 
Wrangel, Juneau, and all the points of interest as far 
north as Chilkat, inspecting the celebrated Treadwell 
mine with its 240-stamp mill, and studying carefully 
the peculiar industries of the natives. 

Although Mr Stephens has passed the meridian of 
life, and has been actively and energetically engaged 
in large business transactions, laying the foundation 
for still grander developments, he retains a very 
remarkable fund of vitality, both physically and men- 
tally. His will force is powerful and vigorous, and 
having achieved success by a persistent endeavor to 
combine the social and physical forces which sur- 
rounded him in the work of progress, he does not 
consider his labors ended so long as his natural abili- 
ties can be employed to advance the best interests of 
the state of his adoption. By the labors of men of 
such mould has California emerged, in a short space 
of time, from a wilderness to a magnificent empire, 
where the highest development of manhood and civ- 
ilization must eventually find a home. 


A PROMINENT pioneer, agriculturist, and cattle breeder 
of Siskiyou county, California, was John B. Rolirer, 
who was born on the 2d of February, 1830, in St 
Bleis La Roch, a village of Alsace, then an integral 
portion of France. His paternal grandfather J. J. 
Rohrer, born in 1752, was a soldier, and served in 
the army which, under the Comte de Rochambeau, 
was sent by France to the aid of the North American 
colonies in the struggle for independence. He was 
present at the battle of Brandywine, and witnessed 
the surrender of Lord Cornwallis at Yorktown. On 
his return to France he married Margueritte Bertran, 
from which union were three children, two of whom 
died in infancy. The surviving son, also named J. J. 
Rohrer, was drafted into the army at the age of 
twenty, and served until the defeat of Napoleon at 
Waterloo, marrying afterward Mary Ann Halter. 
Having always in mind the glowing descriptions he 
had heard of the United States, as soon as he was 
able he set forth with his family, on the 1st of April, 
1845, travelling by wagon to Havre de Grace, where 
thsy took ship for New Orleans, reaching their desti- 
nation after a passage of sixtj^'-one days. From New 
Orleans they went first to St. Louis, and later to 
Peru, in Illinois. Unable to speak the English lan- 
guage, but full of confidence, they settled themselves 
to make a home. The country at that time was 
new, and the nearest market was Chicago, to which 
city Rohrer was soon engaged in hauling grain. The 
worthy couple managed to live with some comfort, 
and had several sons and daughters, named respect- 
ively Mary Ann, who died in 1845 ; John B. ; 
Rosalie, who married Edward Retz of Somonauk, 
Illinois; Louis, Celestin, and Constantino. 

After his father's settlement in Illinois, John, then 
a lad, procured work in a hotel in Ottawa, earning 
$3 per month, which he contributed toward the sup- 
port of his parents. Several months afterward he 
rejoined the latter, to work on their farm, or where- 


ever occupation was offered him. In the spring of 
1849, hke many others, he became seized with the 
gold fever; but it was only in March 1850 that he 
was able to leave home with the approbation of his 
parents. With a yoke of oxen, his clothes packed in 
a grain sack, a gun on his shoulder, and some $12 or 
$13 in his pocket, he started for the land of gold, 
reaching the valley of Great Salt Lake in harvest 
time. Here he worked about two weeks, with the 
choice of $5 or one bushel of wheat per day. He 
chose the wheat, exchanged it for flour, and again 
pursued his course westward, arriving in California 
in the latter part of August. 

While mining at Hangtown he was seized wdth a 
violent fever which almost brought him to death's 
door, but recovering he went to San Francisco, and 
after a short stay there to Yreka. In company with 
Joseph Jarrad he located a mining claim on the 
Deadwood, where they spent the winter, making 
some money. During the next summer he left the 
mine in Jarrad's charge, and in Jacksonville, Oregon, 
established with others a bakery, which yielded good 
profits ; but he soon tired of it, sold his share, and 
returned to Yreka. Jarrad, in his absence, had 
abandoned the mine, which was occupied by others, 
to whom it eventually proved a rich acquisition. 

Rohrer now became interested with one Dejarlais 
in a pack-train, running from Jacksonville to Weaver- 
ville. In the spring of 1853 the partners moved to 
little Shasta valley, then luxuriantly covered wdth 
wild rye. Rohrer concluded to take up land, and 
with a companion, their goods packed on a mule, 
encamped close to little Shasta river, that name being 
given by him to both the river and valley. He built 
of loo-s one of the first two houses erected in tliat 
valley. The first wheat sown cost him $2 per bushel 
in Oregon, and was packed on mules for $2.50 per 
bushel. In partnership with Dejarlias and one 
Monier he purchased 30 cows at $50 each and started 


a dairy; they also brought from Oregon 200 chickens, 
paying for them $1 apiece, all of which investments 
proved profitable, eggs selling at $2 a dozen and but- 
ter at $1 a pound. In 1857 Rohrer exchanged his 
interest in the farm for cattle imported from Oregon. 
That year, early in the fall, having received a letter 
from Illinois that his mother was very ill and wished 
to see him before her death, he set forth overland, 
and in less than a month reached the old home, to 
find it closed, his mother having been dead three 
weeks. This shock, together with the severe cold 
weather, prostrated him on a bed of sickness. He 
finally returned to California in the spring of 1858. 
In September of the same year his father also died, 
from the effects of an accident. 

Rohrer drove his cattle into Butte Creek valley, 
which was covered with the finest of bunch grass, 
but feared to tarry there in the winter because of 
the hostile Modocs and Klamaths. These red men 
came over the mountains into little Shasta and stole 
horses from various persons. Rohrer joined an armed 
party in pursuit of them, but found the Indians 
posted in force too strong to be attacked. Later 
another party, also including Rohrer, and commanded 
by R. M. Martin, without any serious loss, secured 
some of the stolen horses, capturing besides a number 
of firearms. 

Rohrer's severest experiences were during the time 
that he had his live-stock in Butte Creek valley, and 
while driving the animals w^here they could find grass. 
This was deemed a dangerous undertaking, for which 
reason he could procure no assistance. He succeeded 
at last in securing the aid of one man in driving the 
cattle to the top of the mountain, not a hard task of 
itself, the snow being frozen; but there the real 
trouble began. The cattle took the trail around by 
Grass valle}^, and neither Mr Rohrer nor his assistant 
could get around them; all they could do was to 
follow, and breaking through snow-covered brush 


succeeded in getting out a portion of the stock, leav- 
ing the rest to their fate. Rohrer camped two nights 
with only his saddle-blankets to cover him. On 
starting he had some oats in a sack for his horse, a 
few biscuits for himself, and a hatchet. The first 
night he found a pine tree and was able to start a 
fire ; the next day he lost the oats and biscuits, and 
his supply of matches became exhausted. Both man 
and horse suffered o-reatlv from huno-er and cold until, 
on the third day out from Butte creek, he reached 
Sheep rock, where he left his cattle. 

During these years Mr Rohrer had many acci- 
dents, while enoraffed in brandino- cattle and ridinor 
wild horses. The most terrible one happened in 
Butte creek, when a cow threw him down and fell 
on him, breakinoj twelve of his ribs and crushino; his 
breast bone. He had to remain there without 
medical aid or care, other than that of his brother 
Constantine, who had come out a short time before 
and tended him as best he could. At that time there 
was no other person in the valley. Three weeks 
having elapsed the injured man attempted to go over 
the mountain on horseback, but had to desist and 
wait two weeks longer before makino; a second 
attempt to reach little Shasta, 

Thus it will be seen that Mr Bolirer's life has been 
full of incidents, even from childhood, some of them 
accompanied with no little danger. It is related by 
his earliest friends and acquaintances that while an 
infant, in Alsace, a heavy slide of falling snow burst 
througjh the doors and windows of his parents' dwell- 
ing, situated at the foot of a hill, and without touching 
his mother's bed, which stood in a corner, carried 
away little John in his cradle. Fortunately the scarf 
tied over the latter became caught on the limb of 
a tree, and the child was soon afterward found 
unharmed. Once he fell from a table and broke an 
arm and leg, and another time was swept into a mill- 
dam, where he was almost drowned. In his journeys 


in the northern valleys he was once shot just above 
the knee by a Modoc with a poisoned arrow. From 
the wound he sucked the poison, and thus saved 
his life. 

Mr Rohrer's corral or cattle-pen was on the sink 
of Butte creek, where later lived Charles Boyce. 
Camping there one winter with stock he made his 
residence in a hollow log. He also had a camp at 
Sam's neck, where once occurred a battle with the 
Indians. The latter afterward burned his cabin. 
While leading this rough life he used to bake his 
bread on a heated flat stone, as he had seen the Mex- 
icans bake their tortillas. 

In 1861 Mr Boh rer purchased 320 acres of land, 
being a portion of the Home rancho. During the 
next few years he pursued here the occupation of a 
farmer in connection with stock-raising, and planted 
one of the first orchards in little Shasta with fruit 
trees brought from Oregon, still keeping stock in 
Butte creek, which he often went to look after. He 
also became interested in the Yreka Creek mining 
company, an enterprise which entailed a loss of about 
$10,000 in a few months and brought him heavily 
into debt. Had his creditors pressed him then, his ruin 
would have been inevitable ; but his sterling char- 
acter and industrious habits beino; well known he was 
given time, and by hard work and economy was 
enabled to save their interests as well as his own. 
Durinoj the time of his financial distress he labored 
day and night and furnished beef to retail butchers' 
shops, until they became deeply indebted, and he 
was obliged to stop supplying them and to open a 
shop himself. 

In June 1868 he purchased a fourth interest in 
the Franco- American hotel of Yreka, and in 1874 
another fourth, the business of which he managed 
until his death. In 1873, during the Modoc war, he 
liaulcd grain over the mountains to supply the United 
States troops stationed at the lava beds. One day, 


while on his return with empty wagons, he met Gen- 
eral Gilliam and his men, who were mired on the 
south side of Ball mountain, the snow having thawed 
in places. Mr Rohrer extricated them from their 
dangerous position and helped them to their camp, 
receiving $25 per day for his services. 

In 1874 he. bought the Sheep Rock rancho, and 
also a dairy farm and stock in Grass valley, but after- 
ward sold the latter. Later he added the Abe 
Grantlin tract to the Sheep Rock farm, which had 
become one of the best properties in the country, 
possessing the richest soil and the finest water privi- 
leges, with a living spring and a stream running 
through it. The apples produced on the place are 
among the finest in the state. It contains 420 acres, 
and with railroad land attached 1,000 acres. 

The previous year he built one of the finest houses 
in the country, a mile north of his former residence, 
on one of the most beautiful sites in the valley, the 
ground gradually sloping south. He had water in 
abundance to make the place what it has become, 
with fine buildings, vineyard, orchard, meadows, past- 
ures, and shade trees not only around the house, but 
along both sides of the road, making a cool and shady 
promenade. This is known as the Home rancho. 

It is understood that for a number of years Mr 
Rohrer also loaned money at interest, and in this, as 
in almost every other business in which he engaged, 
success attended him. 

Mr Rohrer was about five feet eight inches in 
height, with a strong frame, broad-shouldered and 
full-chested, weighing probably 165 to 170 pounds. 
His complexion and hair were dark, his eyes gray, 
and he always looked fresh and healthy. He mar- 
ried on the 1st of January 1872 Miss Elizabeth Jane 
De Long, a neighbor's daughter, who descended from 
good stock on both sides. Her father's father served 
his country as a soldier in the war of 1812-15 against 
Great Britain, and by his marriage had five boys and 


five skirls. Mrs Rohrer's father crossed the plains 
in 1850, and for a time mined in several parts of 
California, lastly in the Shasta district. He then 
returned to his old home by way of Panamd, and on 
the 22d of February 1853 married Christiana Heed, 
whose father was a minister, and with whom he a 
second time came across the plains. He was shot 
with an arrow on the journey, but fortunately the 
wound was not a serious one. They went first to 
Salem, where the future Mrs Kohrer was born in 
1854. Subsequently the De Longs moved to little 
Shasta, where they experienced many hardships, and 
were for a time in constant danger of being massa- 
cred by the Indians. They had four children — 
three girls and one boy — besides Elizabeth Jane. 
Mrs De Long died in 1886. 

Mr and Mrs John B. Rohrer had five children, 
namely John Louis, born May 26, 1873; James B., 
known in his father's will as James J,, born March 
28, 1875; Adda Jane, born June 26, 1877; Minnie 
Elizabeth, born September 5, 1879; and John C, 
born August 13, 1881. The children, except James, 
resemble their mother's family. The father died on 
the 10th of September 1886. The Sheep Rock rancho 
was left to John Louis Rohrer, the eldest, and the 
Home rancho to James and John. The widow and 
daughters were otherwise provided for. 

Mr John B. Rohrer, prior to his coming to Amer- 
ica, had received some education in French, and in 
Illinois attended school three months, making fair 
progress. In after life he often devoted his leisure 
moments to the improvement of his mind, and took 
special pains to become well acquainted with the 
English language, and to acquire some knowledge of 
the Spanish. Toward the promotion of public instruc- 
tion he was liberal with his means, and his school tax 
was always cheerfully paid. In politics he was a 
democrat, lending at all times a strong support to 
his party. But, though often assisting others into 


office, he never sought official position for himself; and 
it was only at the urgent solicitation of his friends 
that he served one term as a supervisor, discharging 
his duties with ability and zeal. For a number of 
years he was one of the board of directors of the 
agricultural society, to which he was appointed in 
1882, and took an active interest in its atiairs. He 
thought the Chinese were detrimental to the country, 
but objected to any ill treatment of those who were 
here. It is quite certain that he wished to see a 
more desirable class of laborers replace them 

Mr Rohrer believed in the tenets of the Roman 
catholic church, in which he had been reared ; but 
he was a charter member of an odd-fellows' lodge, 
and belonged also to the encampment. He often con- 
tributed money for the erection of churches, regardless 
of the religious sect for whose service they were 

In conclusion, Mr Rohrer was an intelligent, saga- 
cious, industrious, energetic man, and one always 
attentive to his business. Throughout his life he 
proved himself just and upright. He was a kind 
husband and father, never severe with his chil- 
dren, and earnestly inculcating good morals and strict 
honesty, from the love of virtue rather than from 
motives of policy. His last advice to them was to 
be always dutiful and loving to their mother. He 
was witty and lively, generous and fond of society 
and all rational enjoyments. He inv^ariably provided 
well for his family, preferring to spend his substance 
in plain, substantial living rather than in ostentation 
and display. 

As a matter of fact, the first to leave the fascina- 
tions of mining and engage in agriculture in Califor- 
nia not only deserve credit for nerve and foresight, 
but displayed besides the truest wisdom. 

C. B.-llI. 30 


As indicating the extent to which the comparative 
capabilities of Cahfornia for agriculture and stock- 
raising have been developed, it has become an inter- 
esting question among cattle-kings whether the time 
is not approaching when they will find much of their 
land too valuable for farming to be longer held as 

Among the men who have figured in the develop- 
ment of the live-stock industry in California, Jefferson 
Gilbert James has been a conspicuous factor. He 
was born December 29,' 1829, near the village of 
Spencerburg, Pike county, Missouri, a locality to 
which the Pacific coast is indebted for a number of 
valuable citizens. His father, John R. James, and 
his mother, whose maiden name was Elizabeth 
Thompson, emigrated there shortly after their mar- 
riage in Kentucky in the year 1820. It was a good 
neighborhood to live in, with hardy, upright, self- 
reliant, self-respecting men and women, capable of 
transforming a wilderness into comfortable homes. 
At first families were widely separated, and each was 
largely dependent upon itself Everybody worked, 
and worked hard; there was little gossip, and small 
opportunity for it. Universal hospitality prevailed, 
however, and the latch-string was always out. Now 
and then there was a log-rolling, or a house-raising, 
and then there was the regular general muster day, 
on which occasions the men came together for work 
and for sociability. The women had their quilting 
parties, and once a year there was camp-meeting. The 
common schools were the onl}'- means of education. 
The log-house that served for the school-house was 
also the church. 

Mr James' ancestors were of Enirlish stock, and 
were among the early settlers of America; his father 
was a Virginian, and his mother a Kentuckian. The 
former was a man of marked character, and educated 
above the ordinary standard. He went to Missouri 
as school-teacher and farmer, but did not teach long. 



He was a t3q3ical pioneer, of stalwart, sinewy frame, 
energetic, industrious, and intelligent. Familiar with 
certain books, he was also handy with tools, and could 
mend or make. Respected for his integrity and 
judgment, he possessed considerable influence, and 
was frequently called upon to arbitrate among his 
neighbors. For years, also, while the country was in 
a sparsely settled condition, he drew up wills and 
practised medicine. 

His wife was a woman of excellent traits, earnest, 
intelligent, devoted to her family, and fit in every 
way in her sphere to supplement the life-work of her 
husband. They were both scrupulous in the observ- 
ance of duty. She was a member of the Campbellite 
church; he was not, but was an ardent admirer and 
student of Alexander Campbell. They brought up 
their children by example rather than by intimidation, 
making their home attractive for them, and inculcat- 
ing in them a wholesome regard for the right. Evi- 
dence of this is to be found in the character of their 
children. Of the seven who survive, three daughters 
and three sons are respected members of society in 
their native state. 

From hisfatherand mother Jefferson James inher- 
ited sterling qualities of mind and heart. His sur- 
roundings were of the very best to equip him for life 
in a new country. He started upon his studies when 
he was nine years old, but a good part of his day's 
work had to be done before he could take up his 
books and start out on a two-mile walk to the school- 
house, and when he returned home in the afternoon 
his work began again, and terminated only when 
there was nothing more that could be done. He was 
never able to complete a school term, for such a boy 
as he in those times could ill be spared from the farm 
with regularity. Yet what a grand school is the 
farm itself! How many of the controlling, creative 
spirits, in every sphere of activity in the United 
States, are graduates of the soil. But Jeff, as he 


was familiarly called, became a fair arithmetician, and 
he read and digested, among other books, the history 
of his own country; and independently of school he 
cultivated the natural gift of swift off-hand calcula- 
tion, which has been very useful to him in business. 
His early aspirations were to follow in his father's 
footsteps, to clear off and cultivate a farm, and raise 
horses and mules; but some young friends of his had 
returned from California and brought good reports. 
He would try his fortunes here, too ; his health was 
perfect ; he was not afraid of hard work ; his habits 
were good ; he had full confidence in himself, and he 
was in his twenty-first year ! He and his brother 
Thompson B., and his brother-in-law, James L. 
Alford, and George Ogle, harnessed a team of first- 
class high-bred mules that they had raised themselves, 
and started out across the plains. Their trip was not 
marked by any incident of special note except one, 
which served to show Mr James' independence and 
self-reliant disposition. They were in a train of some 
twenty-five wagons, the mud was deep and the cross- 
ings bad. In order to get along, even at a snail's 
pace, all hands would have to combine and lift one 
wagon after another over the soft places. But there 
were some who shirked. In crossing Baft river, 
Idaho, he and his three companions pretty nearly 
exhausted therriselves, and that night, when they 
went into their tents, covered with mud, chilled to 
the bone, and sore, they sat down and talked over 
the situation, and determined that they would strike 
out for themselves. The next morning they bade 
good-bye to the departing train, and went to work 
and spent two or three days cutting up their wagon 
and converting the spokes of the wheels into the 
framework of pack-saddles. What they could not 
carry they threw away, and mounted. It was a wild 
rough ride they had that day. Their high-strung 
mules had never been under saddle before, and the 
rattling of frying-pans sent them a flying, Before 


going into camp, they made perhaps seventy-five 
miles, and passed some fourteen hundred lumbering 
wagons. They entered Hangtown, now Placerville, 
in August 1850. Mr James worked in the placers 
for eight dollars a day until September. He and his 
brother afterwards mined at Rocky Chucky bar until 
April 1852, each cleaning up $3,000 of gold-dust, wdth 
which they returned home by the way of Nicaragua. 
The latter invested his money in a farm and remained 
in Missouri ; the former bought ninety young cows 
and drove them out to California, with the idea of 
going into the dairy business, but finding out ulti- 
mately that they had been made barren, he sold them, 
at a profit, for beef. This was the beginning of his 
career in California as a stockman, though he mined 
ajjain from 1855 to 1857 at Coon hollow, in order 
to enlarge his capital. He and his partner, a cousin, 
William Douglas, made $5,000 each. With this 
money rolled up in blankets behind their saddles they 
rode across the plains to Los Angeles, where they 
purchased 960 head of cattle and a few horses. It is 
said that on the way down, one of their horses gave 
them the slip and took to the hills, carrying ofl^ half 
their capital ; but fortunately he was recaptured. 
They brought their stock to what is now Kingston, 
then Bliss' ferry, and turned them out on the north 
side of the river. In the spring they rounded them 
up and drove them to the head of Fresno slough, 
which has been the home ranch of Mr James from 
that time up to the present day. He was one of the 
pioneer stock-raisers in that section. When he went 
into the country there were only a few settlers in the 
foothills, and the nearest postoffice w^as at the ferry, 
forty miles away. Wdd Mexican ponies roamed the 
plains, unclaimed and worthless, and only now and 
then would a stranger pass by, driving native cattle 
from the south. Land was then free to all, for its 
use and the acquisition of title was not thought of 
until three or four years afterwards, at which time he 


purchased from the state, at $1.00 per acre, 640 acres 
of swamp and overflowed land, bordering the slough 
on both sides and controlling the country tributary to 
that water supply He was the first who came, and 
he had his choice of the rich meadows. By purchase 
he has added to his acres from time to time, until now 
he is the proprietor of one of the most extensive and 
lucrative cattle-ranchos in the state. 

In 1860 he bought out Douglas; five years later 
he took in as partner, George F. Smith, who brought 
the Fish Slough farm into the firm, and in 1873 he 
bought out Moses Selig, who had previously pur- 
chased Smith's interest. The property comprises 
57,000 acres, lying principally in townships 15 and 16, 
ranges 17 and 18, Fresno county; extending from 
two to four miles in width, and about fifteen miles in 
length, on either side of the great slough which 
receives the water of King, river and the overflow 
of Tulare lake, and empties into the San Joaquin 

In the course of systematic reclamation the greater 
portion of the land has been drained, and the water 
controlled by head-gates and dams, connecting minor 
sloughs and by canals joining the larger ones. The 
principal canal, which connects Fish slough with 
Fresno slough, is six miles long, fifty feet wide, and 
from three to four feet deep, and it is being further 
deepened every year by the flow of the current on the 
bottom, ploughed up deep during the dry season. 

Mr James depands altogether upon the wheat, 
wire, and marsh grasses, which are native. The first 
named has a deep tap-root, which keeps it grow^ing 
nearly all the year. They are all sweet and nutri- 
tious and are first rate for growing stock and dairying. 
He has under lease something like 100,000 acres of 
grazing land, the greater portion of which joins the 
Fish Slough rancho; 42,000 acres are in San Luis 
Obispo county, where he fattens his stock for market 
upon alfileria. Out of 15,000 head of cattle which 


he has bred up from the original Mexican stock, to an 
average of half or three-fourths Durham, he brands 
some four thousand calves, and ships upwards of two 
thousand beeves yearly, to J. G. James and company, 
wholesale butchers, San Francisco, who slaughter 
from twenty -five to thirty beeves, and from ten to fif- 
teen calves daily. 

The improvements on the rancho consist mainly of 
fifty miles of fence, thirty-five miles of which are of 
boards, topped with wire, and fifteen miles of barbed- 
wire fence, redwood posts being used all along the 
line; commodious barns, dwellings, vaquero houses, 
blacksmith shops, granaries, corrals, six artesian wells 
bored to a depth of 800 feet, the largest of w^hich 
yields 60,000 gallons per hour; and all other facilities 
and conveniences needed to carry forward the work 
of stock-breeding on a magnificent scale. 

The great results thus accomplished, the facts show, 
are due to himself They have been won by labor 
and good judgment, in spite of obstacles and hard- 
ships. In the outset troublesome and vexatious 
rodeos were necessary; many a weary night has he 
stood guard over his cattle, or lain down uncovered 
on the bare ground, sometimes in the pouring rain, to 
sleep if it were possible, and all this after a day of 
the severest toil and anxiety. And then the stock 
market, while generally good, has been at times demor- 
alizing. The year 1864 was a dry one, and stockmen 
seeing their cattle die by thousands became panic- 
stricken and sold out, in some instances as low as five 
dollars a head. Mr James, however, had the fore- 
sight and the courage to bu}^ He lost a great many 
cattle himself, but out of the subsequent rise in prices 
he made a handsome profit on those wdiich survived. 
The years 1867 and 1871 also were bad. From time 
to time there were cattle epidemics, but he has kept 
his stock free from disease, principally by having the 
water they drank always pure and sweet. It may be 
truly said that his is an instance of the survival of 


the fittest. In 1866 he removed his residence to 
Stockton, and afterward to San Francisco, where he 
has since continuously resided, looking after the busi- 
ness here, and making monthly visits of supervision to 
the rancho. In 1860 he visited his old home in Mis- 
souri for the second time, and then he made the best 
investment of his life by uniting his fortunes with those 
of Jennie L. Rector, an accomphshed young woman 
whom he had known and admired from childhood. 
In the best sense she has proved a fitting helpmeet 
for him, a true wife, loyal, stout-hearted, affectionate, 
and good. The early part of their married life, begun 
in a two-roomed cabin on the wild plains of Fresno, 
was not an easy one for him, and less so for her. But 
with a cheerfulness never surpassed she took hold 
alone, keeping house and cooking for her husband and 
his men. While he bore the burden in open air, she 
responded to hers under the cabin roof. To-day, in the 
midst of comforts and having every luxury at com- 
mand they recall with relish the jerked beef, broiled 
on a stick, and the coffee they drank from a tin cup. 
Mr James was elected a member of the board of 
supervisors in San Francisco in 1882. Though on 
the democratic ticket, he received a large vote from 
the best elements, regardless of party. In this office 
he proved that the appreciation of his constituency 
was warranted. It was during his chairmanship of 
the street lio-hts committee that the board declined, 
under the one-twelfth act, to expend more money per 
month than the sum appropriated; in consequence, 
darkness reigned in the city for a season of four 
months, but $80,000 was thus saved wherewith to 
meet more pressing needs. By his efforts the old 
corporation yard, with its accumulated rattle-traps, 
was abolished, and $7,600 thereby saved per annum. 
The committee on printing and salaries of the board, 
of which he was an active member, reduced the 
expenses of that department $50,000 a year. Mr 
James was a rigid supervisor, knowing no friends, 


and having no criterion but the law, and that hterally 
interpreted. He was elected on a pledge to reduce 
taxation, and he redeemed the pledge. 

The question came before the board whether the 
Park and Ocean railroad should be allowed to make 
a slio-ht cut across each of two corners of Golden 
Gate park, a necessity in the construction of the 
road-bed. Had Mr James been disposed alone to 
court popularity, he would have voted against this 
measure, but he felt that the actual interests of those 
whom he represented required him to favor it. The 
real question was, whether a multitude of people, of 
small means, should be granted cheap transportation 
in order to enable them to reach the pure air of the 
ocean beach. The damage to the park^ if any, was 
insignificant in the comparison. 

Mr James was reared as a democrat, the straightest 
of the sect, and he has adhered to this faith, believing 
that in the main it is the best, but he has not been a 
partisan. For instance, though a southern man, he 
thought it unwise that California should be admitted 
into the union as a slave state, and he cast his vote 
accordingly. In the presidential campaign of 1888 
he took a conservative stand between the extremes 
of free trade and hio-h tariff, thinkintr that Mr Cleve- 
land made a serious mistake in proposing such an 
issue, and that he would have shown better judgment 
had he advised congress as to the reduction of the 
enormous idle surplus in the treasury. 

The popular confidence in Mr James was reasserted 
in his appointment to the board of education, to fill 
the unexpired term of Charles Kohler, deceased, and 
he was duly elected for the ensuing term, which 
began January 1, 1889. Into this office he brought 
the same rigid ideas of the responsibihty of the public 
servant that had characterized him as supervisor, and 
by his earnest labor, gratuitously bestowed, he has 
shown himself to be not only a good and true 
man, but always the right man in the right place. 


He is chairman of the finance committee, and a mem- 
ber of several other important committees. 

Our scliool system he considers good, but he does 
not under-estimate the harm of pohtical influence 
exercised in the appointment and retention of a pro- 
portion of unfit teachers. The only remedy for this 
radical fault he deems to be, first, the selection of 
disinterested, independent members of the board of 
education; and second, in giving to them the uncon- 
ditional power of employing and discharging teachers. 
Although it has been Mr James' idea to stick to one 
thing, to which policy is doubtless due much of his 
success, he has gone aside in one instance. Of the 
Fresno Loan and Savings bank, organized in 1884 
with a capital stock paid up of $300,000, a solid and 
flourishing institution, he is president and director, 
and a lartje stockholder. 

He is a member of the Masonic order, of the United 
Workmen, and the Knights of Pythias, and takes a sub- 
stantial part in promoting the benevolent ends of these 
charities. As regards religion, he is a firm believer 
in the authenticity of scripture, and is an ardent 
advocate of the moral teachings of the bible. He is 
not identified with any denomination, but has been a 
liberal friend to struggling church organizations, espe- 
cially so in Fresno county. 

Mr and Mrs James have but one child, the wife cf 
Walter Coleman Graves, a Kentuckian of excellent 
family, liberal education, and a high order of talent, 
who is assistant district attorney of San Francisco, 
and actively engaged in the profession of law. Mrs 
Graves is a woman of exceptional culture, and pos- 
sessed of rare personal charms. The grandparents 
take great pride and comfort in their bright and 
handsome grandchildren, Jefferson James, Walter 
Coleman, and Rector Graves, in whom their good 
traits bid fair to be transmitted. 

In person Mr James, as he appears in his sixtieth 
year, is of rugged build, standing erect, five feet ten 


and a half inches tall, weighing 196 pounds. He is 
deep-chested, large-muscled, alert, and having led a 
wholesome life, still manifests the driving force which 
has characterized him heretofore. His hair, once 
brown, is now quite gray ; his complexion, in boyhood 
light, wears the settled tan of exposure. His blue 
eyes beam with hearty good-humor, yet reveal a 
clearness of perception and a dignity of purpose that 
are impatient of trifling. With head thrown back as 
he walks, going straight to the point of his design, the 
spectator sees in him at once a man of business. 

The main features of his character are indicated in 
his career. The name Jeff James has been synony- 
mous with good faith and integrity in this state ever 
since he became known in it. In disposition he is 
large-hearted, generous, and kind. He is jovial in tem- 
perament and fond of timely humor, yet in his moods 
of thought he is best appreciated if left alone to work 
out his problems. He is a man who makes up his 
mind incisively, and acts upon his judgment at once. 
His will-power, his tenacity, and the thoroughness of 
his thinking and acting are elements that lie at the 
foundation of his success, as one of the creators of 
the wealth of this coast. I take him. to be a man of 
well-balanced faculties and possessing a large share 
of common sense. By force of natural intelligence, 
assisted by a rudimentary education from books, he 
has grown by observation and friction among men, to 
a strong and leading position among the best people 
of the coast. In him is shown the success to which 
a man may attain, who learns from actual life and 
builds by self-help upon a solid intellectual foundation. 
To the aggregate of what men like him have done, 
we owe, in a large part, the extraordinary beginnings 
of a civilization on the Pacific coast, the tremendous 
future of which no one can do more than speculate 


Samuel Jackson, of Edgewood, California, was 
born in Frederick county, Virginia, on the 22d of 
January 1827, and descended from a remarkably 
good ancestry both in a physical and moral sense. 
His paternal grandparents, Josiah Jackson and Ruth 
Jackson, nee Steer, were natives of Pennsylvania, and 
became man and wife in the same state on the 22d of 
March 1764, but after the birth of their first two 
children, Samuel and Grace, in Lancaster county, 
went to live on a farm in Frederick county, Virginia, 
where they had other children. It is understood 
in the family that the renowned confederate general 
Stonewall Jackson was their distant relative. 

The family farm consisted of about 600 acres, which, 
on the demise of Josiah Jackson became divided 
among his children, the eldest son, Samuel, receiving 
for his share of the estate about fifty -three acres. 
It was on this small property that he lived till his 
death. Samuel took to wife Cynthia McVeigh, a 
member of a prominent family, on the 20th of May 
1822, and there were born to them three sons, Benja- 
min Franklin, Samuel, Jonathan, and two daughters, 
named Margaret Ann and Ruth Grace. 

Samuel Jackson, senior, measured six feet two 
inches in height, was strongly built; his wife was of 
medium size. He was a stone-mason and miller, as 
well as farmer. His death, at the age of eighty, 
occurred when his son Samuel was about sixteen years 
old, and that of his widow several years later. 

The Jacksons lived in a modest way, but were able 
to keep hired men. Samuel, the second son, was 
ever treated gently by his parents, and allowed to 
follow his bent; he made himself very useful on the 
farm until he had completed his fifteenth year, mean- 
while attending school in the winter without learning 
much while he was a small boy. After he grew old 
enough to appreciate the advantages of an education, 
his opportunities for acquiring it had become less. 
However, he learned to read and write well, and knew 





something of geography, but in arithmetic he did not 
go beyond the rule of three. The death of his father 
impressed on his mind the importance of an indus- 
trious hfe, such as his father had inculcated by word 
and example, and his elder brother being then absent 
the responsibility of carrying on the work of the farm 
devolved upon him, together with the care and sup- 
port to some extent of his younger brother and sister. 
On his brother's return, about one year after, Samuel 
was engaged in various occupations which taxed his 
physical strength, endurance, and youthful ardor, 
though affording him only a scanty remuneration. At 
about the age of nineteen years he again assumed 
charge of the farm, his elder brother having gone 
west. His success with the farm and with sonie land 
rented from an uncle was such that his neighbors 
began to think him already on the road to wealth, 
though his net savings were not more $150 or $200 a 
year. His brother's return relieved him of the duties 
on the farm, and he worked for a grist-miller ; and 
later at a steam saw-mill for low wages. At tw^enty- 
two he had attained both a high stature and powerful 

With his savings of $400 or $500 Jackson, in 1851, 
went west. In Illinois he procured work on a large 
farm, which was provided with the latest improved 
implements. Here he earned good wages, and became 
proficient in the use of those implements. Being now 
possessed of $500 or $600 he thought of a venture in 
Texas ; but when on board the steamer at St. Louis he 
made the acquaintance of two men named John Fox- 
worthy and William Heath, who informed him that 
they had been to California in 1850, and whose 
account of the country was such as to turn his mind 
in that direction. 

With some assistance from these men, between 
whom and himself an attachment had grown up, he 
took passage on a ship at New Orleans for the 
isthmus of Panamd, and thence after a painful journey 


and much suffering from a severe fever, which almost 
broke his constitution, he finally reached San Fran- 
cisco in October of 1852, and soon after repaired to 
Sacramento, and to a small place which had sprung up 
on the river, bearing the name of Hoboggan, where 
he worked for a time handling freight. This proving 
too severe for his still feeble health, he obtained 
employment in a bakery on J street, Sacramento, at 
$80 per month, his duties being to make himself use- 
ful in the bakery, and to convey provisions to 

At this time Mr Jackson was almost destitute of 
means, having had to pay for medical attendance at 
San Francisco and Sacramento. The people he now 
worked for did quite a large business, employing from 
fifteen to twenty men in the bakery. Jackson con- 
tinued in this employment until January 1853, when 
his health being still quite precarious, he resolved to 
go north into the mountains, and to try his fortune 
in the mines. To be free from debt, and in the pos- 
session of $3,000, was at this time the height of his 
ambition, and this he hoped to accomplish within the 

Mr Jackson's experience as a miner was not disap- 
pointing, but he was now seized with a restlessness 
which prevented his remaining long at any one 
place. His life during the following winter, which 
was spent in Shasta county, was, it is true, full of 
hardship and discomfort, and yet, by working only 
two or three hours of the day he could pick up 
from three to eight dollars. In the next spring 
he worked at Weaverville, and in the following 
June went to the French bar, about forty miles 
below Weaverville on Trinity river, where, in com- 
pany with three others, he became part owner of 
a rich mining claim. 

The partners made from $4 to $8 per day. They 
had a ditch that enabled them to work all over the 
bar which was of ten or twenty acres in extent. Jack- 


son continued there until the wet weather commenced, 
and on receipt of glowing reports about the wealth of 
Siskiyou county, where, as it was said, a man could 
easily gather $100 worth of gold a day, together 
with some acquaintances he visited Yreka and looked 
for some promising claim, but finding none they went 
to Cottonwood, twenty miles north of Yreka, expect- 
ing better results. They walked with blankets, pick, 
shovel, and pan on their backs as far as Cole's, at the 
Oregon line, finding at Rocky gulch a good prospect. 
Their claim yielded rich returns ; but provisions being 
high the net profits of their work in the winter and 
spring were only moderate. 

Going to a place on the Klamath river named by 
him the Virginia bar, in honor of the state of his 
birth, they found a claim which soon afterward was 
exchangced for a horse and some money, where with 
others he took a claim, brought in a ditch of about 
a mile in length which, including tools and provisions 
purchased at Cottonwood on credit, cost $1,000, which 
indebtedness was duly covered, notwithstanding that 
their labor upon this claim met with no better success 
than an average of one dollar per day. Jackson and 
his partners finally abandoned the spot, concluding 
to go back to Trinity river, where they had a rich 
claim which a flood had compelled them to abandon 
in the winter. Before proceeding thither, however, 
as they had a month of spare time, they visited the 
south fork of Scott river, where in the three summer 
months their labors were amply rewarded. 

Milling on the whole proving unsatisfactory, Mr 
Jackson went back to Yreka. This was in 1854. The 
company was dissolved, two of its members, Goodnight 
and Hopper, took upland, another betook himself to 
Humbug, and Jackson repaired first to Yreka and 
next to the Shasta valley. It was in this valley that 
he saw the place on which he has since lived. The 
land being good he purchased the claim from an old 
sailor, whose priority of right to it he respected though 


it had been virtually abandoned. The price paid for 
it was $150. The land had never been surveyed; 
in 1890 it was considered worth from $50 to 
$60 po.r acre. Leaving a hired man on the place to 
represent him and to make rails for fencing, Jackson 
worked in the mines at Greenhorn at $4 a day, his 
object being to make money enough for the purchase 
of seed and the necessary teams to carry on farming. 

That winter proved a severe one, and no work 
could be done in the mines. Jackson and his man 
made about 7,000 rails, and when the snow was two or 
three feet deep they cut timber on the mountains and 
drew it down on the snow. In the spring Jackson 
went to work again in the mines for the same wages ; 
his man meantime hauling rails and putting in seed, 
the owner lendino; a hand at intervals. In this man- 
ner a crop was raised of one to two acres of vegetables, 
and from ten to twelve acres of grain. Some onions 
were sold at $22 a hundred pounds, yielding $1,000, 
and the rest of the crop brought nearly $1,500 more. 
Grain at that time did not command a high price, as 
large quantities of it were produced. 

Jackson remained on the farm, investing all the 
money he had in cattle, mostly cows, for which he 
paid an average of $75. This was in the fall of 1855. 
Butter churned on his place sold for one dollar a 
pound. The next summer he sold his crop at a good 
advantage and made money. He then let the farm, 
providing the tenant, who had no pecuniary means, 
with the necessary teams and seed, and returned to 
mining, buying out the interest of one of his former 
employers in a claim for $3,100 in gold, and working 
there for about two years. Mining possesses many 
of the fascinations of gambling. This claim yielded 
good returns, $1,000 being taken from it in one day. 
Mr Jackson was fond of fine stock and kept at this 
time a fast horse which won for him $500. 

At the expiration of these two last years of mining 
life, Mr Jackson returned to his farm, and has since 


devoted his whole attention to agricultural pursuits, 
chiefl}^ raising hay and live stock. He bought at dif- 
ferent times tlie Bagley place of 400 acres, and the 
Arbaugh of 440 acres, and other lands adjoining, 
besides 200 acres in Squaw valley, and 160 acres more 
of timber land ; so that he found himself the owner of 
about 2,150 acres. At one time he used to produce 
a great deal of grain, but finally turned his attention 
almost exclusively to cattle breeding. His family 
dwelling is a good, substantial farmhouse at the base 
of a hill, with pines back of it and fruit trees in front. 
He has ever thought highly of California climate and 

Mr Jackson has a fine physique, standing nearly 
six feet two inches in his stockings, with a square, 
solid frame, and weighs about 175 pounds. His hair 
was originally brown and his eyes are of a bluish 
gray; the complexion is rather florid, and his manner 
of address slow, methodical, careful, and considerate. 
In character he is above reproach, with a course of 
conduct always marked by its straightforwardness. 
He is humorous in disposition and fully appreciates 
dry wit, uttering his witticisms often with a most 
serious countenance. 

In his religious views Mr Jackson is a member of 
the society of friends, as were his father and other 
paternal ancestors: his mother was a presbyterian. 
He relates that until the age of eighteen, whenever a 
person mentioned a week day by its common name, 
as Sunday or Monday, he could not at first make out 
what day it was; he had been taught in the old 
Quaker fashion to name the months and da3^s of the 
week first, second, third, etc. 

Mr Jackson does not personally take much interest 
in politics, but likes to see his political friends suc- 
cessful, and often spends money to assist them into 
office. He has ever been affiliated with the demo- 
cratic party, and yet, in 1860, cast his vote in favor of 
Abraham Lincoln, being satisfied that his favorite 

C. B.— III. 31 


candidate Stephen A. Douglas could not be elected 
and not approving of the other two candidates. 
Throughout his life he has been a steadfast friend 
of the public schools, cheerfully paying his share of 
the school tax, which amounts to as much as the 
ao-gregate paid by all others in his district. 

In his laborious life he has observed the rule of 
retiring early to rest, and rising at a reasonable hour 
in the morning. He entertains the belief that a man 
can do a good day's work in ten hours. The treat- 
ment of the men in his employ has ever been such as 
to win their good will. 

Mr Jackson married on the 10th of January, 
1861, Miss Caroline Sherrill, a daughter of Alfred 
and Margaret Sherrill, the father being a native of 
North Carolina and the mother of Tennessee. By 
this marriage the Jacksons have had six children, 
two dying. Those surviving are Thomas Jefferson, 
born August 31, 1863; Samuel Henry, born August 14, 
1868 ; Alice Virginia, born March 8, 1870, and Jona- 
than Franklin, born July 1, 1872. As a most affec- 
tionate parent as well as indulgent husband, Mr 
Jackson in rearing his children has invariably U!-ed 
the influence of moral suasion and advice to make 
them understand from an early age the difference 
between rig:ht and wrono;. His course has been 
rewarded with the happiest results, the sons being 
temperate, well-behaved, and attentive to their duties, 
Samuel Henry partaking more of his father's dispo- 
sition ; the daughter growing up dutiful and af!ection- 
ate. All of them have had the advantage of a good 
liberal education. 

From the foregoing narrative of Mr Jackson's life, 
the conclusion is reached that the state has been 
fortunate to have enrolled among her most worthy 
citizens one more living example of what industrious 
habits, sustained by perseverance, energy, and a ster- 
ling character may accomplish. Were there more 
such men greater progress would be made. 

/ /yiiy^^/jz^rO 


Among those whose career entitles them to rank 
with the builders of our western commonwealth is 
Mr Julien Neuschwander, or as he was called by his 
friends, and as we shall style him, Neuschwander D. 
Julien, the change of name being authorized by spe- 
cial act of legislature. Not onl}'" as a pioneer, but as 
one of the oldest and most substantial citizens of 
northern California, as one whose fortunes grew with 
the growth and prospered with the prosperity of his 
adopted land, it is but fitting that to him a place 
should be accorded in these pages. 

A native of Petit-Buron, in the Canton de Vaud, 
Switzerland, where he was born on 4th of December 
1812, Mr Julien's childhood was passed on his father's 
farm near Echallens, At twelve he was apprenticed 
to a butcher of that town, with whom he remained 
until seventeen years of age, making his own way in 
the world ever since reachino- the former acre. It 
was a hard life that he led during these five years, 
rising at four in summer, at five in winter, and after 
attending to his various duties, as the butchering of 
cattle and the herding of sheep, attending school and 
then returning to his unfinished task, meanwhile 
studying his lessons at such odd moments as he could 
call his own. But to a boy of his industrious habits 
and sturdy frame all this appeared not as a hardship, 
for all this time he was learnini>: his trade, thoutrh 
receiving nothing for his labor except his board and 

At the end of his term he engaged himself to 
another master at the wages of twenty cents per 
week, though soon increased to as many francs per 
month, for now, before reaching twenty, he was 
already known as one of the best butchers in his 
canton. After some further changes we find him at 
Soleure, where, partly to acquire a knowledge of the 
German language, he remained for several years in 
the employ of a man named Lutti, a member of the 
national council, by whom he was appointed his 


foreman. His next occupation was at Chaux-de- 
fonds, Canton of Neuchatel, Switzerland, with one 
Jacob Christen, his future father-in-law, whose affairs 
he helped to manage, not only in the butcher's busi- 
ness but as a hotel-keeper, and a wine merchant. 
Here he remained until 1842, when, to escape military 
service — since this portion of Switzerland belonged to 
Prussia, to serve which would be disloyalty to his 
country — he set forth for a tour through France, 
passing thence to Algiers, and on his return taking 
charge of Mr Christen's interests, according to his 

In 1844 Mr Julien set sail for America, his sole 
object being, as he frankly acknowledged, to make 
more money at his calling than was possible in his 
native land. A passage of forty-four days carried 
him to Boston, whence, after a brief stay in Milwau- 
kee, he removed to Chicago, though w4th none of 
these places was he satisfied as a business centre, the 
great metropolis of the west being then little better 
than a village. At Chicago, however, he remained 
until the following spring, working at his trade in the 
employ of the The next three years 
were passed for the most part in Galena, Illinois, 
where his business increased so rapidly that he was 
compelled to admit a partner, Jacob Koehler, dispos- 
ing of his interests in 1848 to him, for now he had 
resolved to go to California. 

Before leaving Europe Mr Julien had read the 
early accounts of Alta California, and now to the 
interest which they aroused was added the excite- 
ment of the gold discovery. In November of this 
year, therefore, he started for the new El Dorado, 
travelling by way of New Orleans, and thence by 
schooner in sixty days to the Isthmus. Here, after 
long delay, he was fortunate enough to secure pas- 
sage in a whaling vessel, after vainly offering $1,000 
for a berth in the California, the first steamer that 
made the trip from Panamd. 


Thus, early in June 1849, he landed in San Fran- 
cisco, where, as he related, there was but a sincrle 
frame building, the propert}'^ of one Jacob Riebstein, 
whose friendship he had made in Galena. Lumber 
at this date was worth one dollar a foot, though in 
the following spring to be had at $75 per thousand, 
and as yet the future metropolis consisted onlj^ of a 
straggling arra}^ of tents and adobe huts. 

Mr Julien was now a man of thirty-six years of 
age, and though possessed of but a slender capital, 
was gifted witii qualities that could not fail to insure 
success, with industry, persistence, integrity, with 
strength of body and mind, and with a strength of 
will that nothing could bend from its purpose. More- 
over, he had travelled much, had gained a thorough 
knowledge of the world, had acquired an insight into 
the actions of men, and had learned above all how to 
take advantage of his opportunities. Thus both by 
character and experience he was admirably fitted for 
the struggles and vicissitudes of pioneer life. 

At Sacramento, whither, intending to engage in 
business, he sailed on the first vessel that made the 
trip from San Francisco, he met with his friend, 
Riebstein, who was the owner of a store at Rose bar 
on the Yuba, and now invited him to become his 
partner. This offer he accepted, remaining until near 
the rainy season, when, both being taken sick, they 
disposed of their interests. During the autumn they 
purchased some $20,000 worth of property at Nico- 
laus and other places, where soon afterward the}' built 
a hotel, which at first rented for $350 per month, and 
early in 1850 could have been sold for $50,000. A 
few months later it could not have been disposed of 
for $10,000, so rapidly did values rise and depreciate 
amid the changing fortunes cf the mining-camps. 

In sore disgust Mr Julien offered to dispose of his 
share for $1,000, and to tliis Mr Riebstein agreed. 
Thereupon, with two new partners, and a company of 
seventeen in all, he set forth for Mexico to purchase 


cattle, horses and sheep for the California market. 
Through the desert he journeyed more than ninety 
miles without finding one drop of water, travelling 
from Guaymas to Tina Jalta, and paying for wild 
cattle $15 per head. With these he returned by way 
of Lower California, driving his stock to Yreka, 
where he arrived in September 1851. Through the 
carelessness of one of his partners the entire herd, 
together with nearly thirty horses, valued in all at 
$9,000, was soon afterward raided by a party of 
Modoc Indians. Nevertheless here he remained, 
following his trade, dealing in cattle, and engaging in 
general merchandising, for though at this date Yreka 
was a city of tents and log huts, it was none the less 
a thriving business centre. At the time there were 
already nine butchers in the town ; but by putting 
down the price of meat to ten or twelve cents a 
pound, while cattle on the hoof were selling far above 
these rates, the wealthiest of them got rid of all his 
competitors — all, that is, save Mr Julien, whose store 
he attempted in vain to purchase. As the latter 
firmly refused either to sell out his own or buy the 
other's interest, it was finally agreed to advance the 
price of meat. Thus the business became remuner- 
ative, and in the summer of 1856 Mr Julien found 
himself possessed of an estate valued at $60,000. 

And now he resolved on a trip to Europe, partly 
for his health's sake and for rest, and also to revisit 
the home of his childhood, his father having 
already passed away, bequeathing to his wife and 
children little except his good name. For his mother 
and those of the family who required it Mr Julien 
made ample provision, and after a stay of nearly one 
year returned to California, where, except for the 
destruction by fire of a valuable store at Yreka, his 
business, had prospered. 

Soon afterward he turned his attention to farming 
and farm lands, becoming the owner of a tract of 
880 acres in the neighborhood of Yreka, and of one 


of 5G0 acres adjoining the reservoir near Yreka, of 
one at Sheep Rock, of one in Scott Valley of 653 
acres, and later at Oregon slough of 1,120 acres, and 
in the state of Oregon of the Antelope tract of 1,040 
acres. On some of these properties he raised wheat, 
oats, barle}^ potatoes, and other vegetables, together 
with an abundance of fruit, and with their returns, 
except in occasional seasons, was fully satisfied. Of 
the future of Siskiyou county, and indeed of northern 
California, he entertained a most ftivorable opinion, 
believing that this section can support, and will ere 
long contain, a dense population, with its advantages 
of the soil and climate, its ample rainfall, and its 
plentiful supply of timber. 

In the bank at Yreka Mr Julien was largely inter- 
ested, owning a one-fifth interest, valued at $30,000. 
As a private capitalist he also did much to promote 
the welfare of his fellow-citizens, giving to many a 
poor man his start in life, and never refusing assist- 
ance to those who were in need. If at times his 
benefactions were unworthily bestowed, thereby en- 
tailing losses already exceeding $100,000, for this he 
cared but little, satisfied if in one half these instances 
the recipients proved deserving of his bounty. 

In politics he was a democrat, yet cast his first ballot 
for President Tyler, and in the election of county and 
local officials voted for whomever he might deem most 
eligible, altogether irrespective of party. Though 
more than once urged to accept the nomination as 
supervisor, he would never allow his name to be used, 
having neither time nor inclination for the cares of 
office. On the tariff question he held liberal and 
common-sense views, believing that sufficient revenue 
should be collected for all legitimate purposes, but 
not for the encouragement of monopolies, or for the 
accumulation of an unwieldly and cumbersome sur- 
plus. To Chinese and pauper immigration he was 
strongly opposed, believing that the former, reaching 
us by way of Mexico and British Columbia, is still 


fraugfht with mischief to the state. Bat of immiorra' 
tion of the better sort, that of the industrious, intel- 
ligent, and law-abiding classes, we cannot have too 
much. As to the labor question he apprehended no 
further serious trouble, for nowhere in the world is 
labor so amply remunerated, and here the laborer 
who fails to better his condition has none but him- 
self to blame. 

In religion he was a member of the Lutheran 
church, as were his parents and ancestors, though 
tolerant of all protestant sects, and subscribing freely 
to churches of various denominations. 

During his trip to Europe in 1856-7 Mr Julien 
passed much of his time in the household of the late 
Mr Christen, whose death had but recently occurred. 
To his daughter he was married at San Jose in 1860, 
this estimable lady coming to California in charge of 
a mutual friend, and not at the time as an affianced 
bride. The names of their children are, in the order 
of their birth, Gladys, Julien, Lilian, Edward, and 
George. All of them except the youngest, who is 
but thirteen years of age, being born Centennial day, 
1876, have received a collegiate education, the eldest 
son passing three years at the Benicia college, and six 
months at Heald's Business college in San Francisco, 
the second daughter graduating at tiie State Normal 
school at San Jose, in the class of December 1888. 
All are, moreover, possessed of excellent habits, as 
might be expected with such parentage and training. 
Of Julien, who will probably succeed to the manage- 
ment of his father's business, it should also be 
remarked that he is a natural mechanic, and has 
inherited no small measure of his sire's unbounded 
capability for work. 

In 1890, in his seventy-seventh year, Mr Julien 
was one of those well-preserved men whom a strong 
c(jnstitution, careful habits, and an active outdoor life 
had in a measure protected from the encroachments 
of time. Of medium stature and portly frame, with 


ruddy complexion, brown eyes and smooth-shaven face, 
on Lis massive features were the impress of strong in- 
telligence, sagacity, and power of will. In maimer 
and address he was quiet, methodical, and collected, 
seldom giving way to excitement and still more rarely 
to anger, though strong in his affections and dislikes. 
There were few men who led a life so rational and 
peaceful, and few at his years were less burdened 
with the infirmities of R^e. Retirinsf to rest about 
eight o'clock, he arose at five or six, and, when busi- 
ness required, at an earlier hour, passing most of the 
day in some light occupation, as the watering of his 
ii-arden or the irrig^ation of his meadows. A constant 
reader, as are all the members of his family, much 
time was passed in the company of his books and 
newspapers, of which latter he subscribed for at least 
a score in the Enoflish, French, and German lani^uao-es, 
in all of which, as also in Spanish, he read and con- 
versed fluently. 

One of the earliest settlers in Yreka, at a time 
when it consisted merely of a cluster of tents and 
cabins, he saw it develop, largely through his own 
aid, into one of the most thriving towns of northern 
California. Well might he, as one of the most re- 
spected citizens in the county and state of his adop- 
tion, as one held in esteem by his fellow- man, not 
only as a citizen, but as a father, a husband, and 
a friend, look back without cause for regret on a 
useful and well-ordered life, and await without dread 
the rest that shall be its reward. 

Mr Julien died on the 17th of January, 1891. 
The influence he exerted during life will long remain. 
If it be true that no good act ever dies, how much 
moie must the results of a good life stand forever. 


There is, perhaps, no surer indication of a superior 
mind than the tenacity of purpose which changes 
not amid all the vicissitudes of fortune, never h^sea 
heart or hope while under her darkest frowns, and at 
length, overcoming all obstacles and wearing out all 
opposition by sheer force of will and perseverance, 
arrives safely at the bourne whither it would be. 
Nowhere have these qualities been more fully devel- 
oped or displayed to better advantage than on the 
Pacific coast, and many there are whom the Norse- 
man's crest of the pickaxe, with its motto, "Either 
I will find a way or make one," would well befit. 

Of the privations, hardships, and dangers encoun- 
tered by the earlier settlers on this coast, half the 
story has never been told, though a relation of them, 
could such details be collected, would, form one of the 
most interesting records that have yet been presented 
to the world. All honor to the memory of those 
whose lives were passed amid these stirring and per- 
ilous times, and by whose enterprise a wilderness has 
b3en transformed into one of the fairest portions of 
the earth. Well worthy of a place among them is the 
late William F. Downing, one of the pioneers of the 
centennial state, and one whose later career in Nevada 
and California it will be one of the purposes of this 
biography to describe. 

A native of Newark, Missouri, where he was born 
on the 20th of April, 1838, Mr Downing is by descent 
a Kentuckian, his grandfather removing in 1827 to 
the former state, where, also, his grandmother, Susan 
Downing, after her husband's decease, supported the 
family by the practice of medicine. At that date this 
portion of Missouri was but a sparsely settled region, 
for the most part still unreclaimed from its primeval 
condition, and lacking in all modern facilities. From 
Newark the nearest postoffice was more than fifty 
miles away, the nearest mill an equal distance, and 
there was neither church nor school within reach of 
the settlement. But on both sides Mr Downing's 



ancestors were of the true pioneer type, men inured 
to hardship, men of courage, purpose, and persever- 
ance ; men of decided convictions withal, and ever 
fearless in stating and upholding them, how unpopular 
soever for the moment they might be. From them 
he inherited the strength of will, the decision, resolve, 
and unyielding determination which were conspicuous 
among the traits in his character. 

To Absalom R. Downing, the father of our sub- 
ject, were born ten children, all of whom lived to 
years of maturity. A farmer by occupation, an elder 
of the presbyterian church, and a man of sterling 
qualities, there were none among the early settlers 
of Newark whose memory is held in more respect. 
Though a slaveholder, as were many of his neighbors, 
at the outbreak of the civil war he openly avowed his 
sympathies for the union and against the institution 
of slavery. Four of his sons served with distinction 
in the federal ranks, one of them being killed at the 
battle of Newark, within half a mile of the family 
homestead. His wife, nee Susan A. Fresh, now in 
her seventy-lifth year, is the daughter of a physi- 
cian and farmer of Maryland, where he was one of 
the earlier colonists, removing thence in 1834 to the 
neighborhood of Newark, in which vicinity still reside 
several members of the family. By all who know 
her Mrs Downing is universally esteemed as a devout 
and earnest Christian woman, one whose life has been 
spent in doing good, and whose self-abnegation is in 
perfect keeping with her faith. 

The boyhood of W. F. Downing was passed on 
his father's farm, and in the midst of the plain, unas- 
suming, hardworking community which has made this 
section of Missouri what it is to-day. Accustomed 
from childhood to labor and to endure privation and 
hardship, he received his early training amid the hard 
conditions incidental to frontier life. His opportuni- 
ties for acquiring an education were of the poorest, 
though such as they were he used them to the best 


advantage. Often he walked to his school, a distance 
of three miles, barefooted, and in the coldest weather; 
but ill that school there was no more diligent and 
faithful student. In summer he was required to work 
on the farm, and even in winter the school was some- 
times closed through want of funds, for two or three 
seasons in succession. With all these disadvantages, 
however, it must not be inferred that he was by any 
means an illiterate man, for in later years he fully 
supplied by reading and by observation the deficien- 
cies of his earlier days. Moreover, he received from 
his parents the strictest moral and religious training, 
and was tauo^ht above all thino;s to be honest and 
truthful, which qualities he afterward displayed in all 
his relations with his fellow-man. 

Until twenty-one years of age he remained on his 
father's farm, when the glowing reports of gold dis- 
coveries in Colorado induced him to join the tide of 
migration setting in the direction of Pike peak. His 
outfit, supplied by his father, was of the simplest, con- 
sisting merely of an ox-team with a few scanty equip- 
ments, apart from which his worldly eflects did not 
amount to twenty dollars. In company with his half- 
brother, James H. Kelly, with whom he afterward 
shared the dangers and hardships of western life, he 
started across the plains, arriving at his destination 
without serious mishap. His experiences as a miner 
were most discouraging, for even with the closest 
economy and the hardest of work he often found him- 
self penniless, and even in want of a meal. Notwith- 
standing the urgency of his need, however, he would 
not dispose of his outfit, and as he was unable to pay 
for it, returned it to his father. 

During this and the following year thousands of 
disappointed gold-seekers returned to their homes, 
discouraged and disgusted, but, as we have seen, Mr 
Downing was not the man to be easily discouraged. 
If he could not earn his livelihood as a miner, then 
he would do so by chopping wood, or whatever else 


his hand might find to do. Thus, m the spring cf 
1861, he had accumulated a small amount of surplus 
funds, and now he resolved to set forth for California, 
taking with him Kelly and another companion. On 
reaching the golden state the party divided among 
them their possessions ; and here of two of its mem- 
bers we will take our leave. 

In California Mr Downing's first occupation was on 
a dairy farm, in the neighborhood of Oakland, where 
at the end of a year he had saved enough to purchase 
a team and hay-press, with which he began business 
for himself. Thenceforth, with his economical and 
industrious habits, never allowing himself to be idle, 
but accepting whatever work was offered, he began 
to accumulate money more readily, and in the spring 
of 1866 had at his command the sum of $2,000, 
wherewith he engaged in the cattle trade, purchasing 
cattle in Utah, and driving them to market in Nevada 
or California. His partner in these transactions was 
a Mr Alexander, with whom, two years later, he 
bao'an the business of stock-raisino- in Elko countv, 
Nevada. In 1 870 the interest of the former was pur- 
chased by Henry Curtner of Alameda county, and 
soon afterward the firm of Downing & Curtner became 
known as among the most prominent cattle farmers 
in Nevada, its operations being greatly enlarged, 
though entirely under the personal control of Mr 
Downing, aided by the sound advice and judgment of 
his colleaojue. Under his able manao-ement the busi- 
ness prospered, without any serious reverses, from the 
inception, until in 1881 the partnership was dissolved. 

In the autumn of this year Mr Downing, now in 
possession of a moderate competence, invested the 
greater portion of his means in land in Santa Clara 
county, California, where he again engaged in stock- 
raising and general farming, in 1886 being the owner 
of a fine estate of some 2,300 acres, on which he had 
then adopted what is termed the cooperative plan. 
This system proved successful, and his possessions 


steadily increased until, early in 1887, when his death 
occurred while yet in the vigor of manhood, and after 
he had become one of the wealthy men in the valley 
of Santa Clara. 

■ A thorough business man, and, what is more, a 
thoroughly worthy man in all his relations in life, he 
enjoyed in the fullest measure the confidence of his 
friends and associates. After repeated failures and 
reverses, such as would have discouraged men of 
common mould, the indomitable perseverance and 
power of will which from childhood were his strongest 
characteristics finally overcame all obstacles, and 
placed him at length on the road to success. Among 
the causes which led to his prosperity were the 
promptness and punctuality with which he attended 
to all of his affairs, and his fullest appreciation of the 
value of time, completing each day his daily task, and 
never allowing work to accumulate on his hands. In 
private life he was known as a man of genial and 
social disposition, warm-hearted, charitable, and given 
to hospitality, though simple in all his tastes and 
habits, preferring to all other society that of his wife 
and family. By those who knew him during his early 
struggles, and Avhen in later life he had won repute and 
fame and wealth, it was remarked that his manner and 
bearing did not change in the least with his changing 
destiny, and that while he endured with fortitude the 
buffetings of adversity, he was never unduly elated by 
the other extreme of fortune. The physical advan- 
tages with which Mr Downing was gifted were no 
less remarkable than his rare mental and moral attri- 
butes. Tall of stature, more than six feet in height, 
but with an erect and soldier-like carriage, broad- 
chested, and with a vigorous and well-developed 
frame, fitted to the toil and hardships of his earlier 
days, he was a man whose appearance, once observed, 
would not be readily forgotten. Dark of complexion, 
with hair of dark-brown hue, in his lustrous, piercing 
eyes, his thin, firmly clasped lips, and his ample and 


lofty forehead were indicated the intelligence and 
force of will which raised him from a lowly position 
in life to a foremost rank amid a community noted for 
its many eminent men. 

In politics Mr Downing was in early life a demo- 
crat, but on the outbreak of the civil war his opposi- 
tion to slavery and to the cause of the confederacy 
induced him to join the republican party, and to that 
party he ever afterward adhered, using all his influ- 
ence in favor of the union during the years of her 
sore distress. A firm supporter of his political creed, 
he was never in any sense of the word a politician, 
never seeking or accepting a nomination for office. 

At his sightly and tasteful residence in the Santa 
Clara valley still resides the woman who shared his 
lot in life, and to whom he entrusted in his will the 
management of all his affairs. A native of Kentucky, 
whose ancestors were among the earliest settlers in 
the state, Mrs Downing, nee Annie B. Berry, removed 
with the family to the vicinity of Newark, and as a 
neighbor and schoolmate was acquainted from child- 
hood with her future husband, to whom she was mar- 
ried on March 23, 1876. Their only child, George 
Lucas, whose birthday was the 22d of April, 1879, is 
a bright, intelligent boy, possessing in a marked degree 
the leading characteristics of both his parents, and 
one on whom the mantle of his father has descended 
not unworthily. Never, perhaps, were man and wife 
united by stronger bonds of sympathy, for in many 
traits of character, as in their high resolve, their tire- 
less energy, their strict integrit}^, their soundness of 
judgment, their economy, and the simplicity of their 
tastes and habits, they closely resembled each other. 
A sincere and earnest Christian, and richly endowed 
with the first of all Christian graces, giving freely not 
only to the cause of the church but to any cause that 
she deems worthy of support, Mrs Downing has won 
for herself the esteem and good-will of all her wide 
circle of acquaintances. 



Familt History — Character of Parents — Education — Man op Letters 
AND Affairs — Remarkable P^eal Estate Career — Pronounced 
Agency in Horticulture — Irrigation— Powerful Factor in De- 
velopment — Energetic and Useful Life — A Striking Character. 

The Perrins of South Carolina were of Huguenot 
origin, and came to that state at a very early day. 
The Burt family, of English descent, were likewise 
among the early settlers of the pet colony of England. 
The Perrins of Abbeville and the Burts of Edgefield 
district were people of prominence and influence in the 
south. Among the latter was Armistead Burt, for 
years a member of the house of representatives ; 
among the former, Thomas Perrin, who cast the first 
vote for secession in the South Carolina convention, 
and at whose house the cabinet of Mr Davis, presi- 
dent of the southern confederacy, had its last meeting 
— a singular identification with the beginning and the 
end of the terrible war between the states. Edward 
Burt Perrin, as his name suggests, is a scion of both 
these families. He was born January 12, 1839, in 
Greene county, Alabama, on his father's plantation, 
known as Burton's hill. It was a noted place in that 
section — a sandy hill much more elevated than the 
rest of the country, and surrounded by rich prairie 
lands. This property was acquired by Dr George 
Gwin Perrin, the father of Edward Burt Perrin, who 
was a native of Abbeville district. After graduating 

I 496) 



with great credit from the college of South Carolina, 
he obtained his degree of doctor of medicine, Dr 
Dudley, a celebrated physician of Kentucky, being 
one of his teachers. Removing to Mississippi in 
1829, he practised there successfully, notably during 
the cholera epidemic of a few years later. In 1836 
he removedtoGreenecounty, Alabama, where by dili- 
gence and skill in his profession he acquired what in 
those days was considered a fortune, his estate con- 
sisting cliiefly of the valuable plantation referred to. 

Owing to very hard work and exposure in his 
practice, his travelling being almost altogether done 
on horseback, he died when but 48 years of age. The 
immediate cause was a carbuncle on the back cf his 
neck, which the attending physician treated in a man- 
ner contrary to his patient's advice. Dr Perrin, as 
those who remember him know, was a man in every 
way fitted for eminence in his profession. And as a 
pioneer, he possessed those qualifications which were 
calculated to make him generally useful, and to give 
him a large influence and control in his day and genera- 
tion. He was tali, standing six feet two inches, erect, 
admirably built for strength, quick and active. His 
hair and eyes were a deep black, and his complexion 
rich, clear, and florid. His personijel was in all re- 
spects both agreeable and commanding. 

In his youth he was assisted by an uncle, Robert 
Perrin, who, appreciating his superior intellect and his 
excellent moral traits, took a great interest in assist- 
ing him to acquire a liberal education. 

With the acquisition of his medical diploma, Dr 
Perrin was too wise to think that his knowledofe of the 
profession was sufficient. He was alwa3's an earnest 
and zealous student, cravinor wider and more accurate 
mformation and greater proficiency in the practice of 
medicine, considering whatever additional skill or 
knowledge he might acquire only as another point of 
departure toward the highest development in his 

C. B. -III. 32 


About his only capital was liis learning and his tal- 
ents, than which, however, there can be no greater or 
more substantial estate. But added to hisabihty and 
industry as a practitioner, he was eminently practical, 
and possessed a large knowledge of affairs and a fine 
faculty for business, so that while he attained an emi- 
nent position in the science and practice of medicine, 
he was scarcely less conspicuous for his success in agri- 
culture. Having a large surplus from his professional 
income, and his wife being heiress to a handsome prop- 
erty, he was enabled to make extensive investments in 
land, which he did judiciously, thereby adding consider- 
ably to their fortune. A man of progressive ideas, 
the individualizing trait of his character was, perhaps, 
that he lived much in the future. Using all present 
means discreetly to accomplish practical possibilities, 
he was in no sense visionary. He had no hobby, but 
was not one of the great majority who are limited 
and governed by circumstances and conditions as they 
exist. His turn of mind was prospective, and his 
plane of thought was above that of most others of 
his day and acquaintance. That he lived in advance 
of his times and environment, in thought and action, 
goes without saying. It can be readily inferred, 
therefore, that, enjoying a wider range of vision, dwell- 
ing less upon the past and studying the political pros- 
pect with less local precision and conventionality 
than they, he should foresee the clouds of sectional 
strife. Dr Perrin owned a large property in slaves. 
There were many other wise men in the south, learned 
and accomplished in various ways, into whose minds 
the thought had never entered — who, lulled into a 
sense of security by overconfidence in the stability of 
this aristocratic institution, and too proud to be un- 
prejudiced, would not, or could not, entertain the 
thought of emancipation as in the remotest degree pos- 
sible. In other words, there were but few of the 
many brilliant and diplomatic men of the southern 
states who did not live in heedlessness of possible 


harm and loss on account of slavery. Self-assured, 
and naturally so by long and constitutional usage, in 
the ownership of slaves, and untroubled as to the 
sovereignty of the states, they were mostly of one 
mind on this subject. But Dr Perrin, philosopher and 
sociologist, untrammelled in his thinking either by his 
prejudices or his material interests, took a logical 
view regarding the permanency of the institution of 
slavery. When most of his neighbors, in the midst 
of affluence, thought only of enjoying their property, 
never fancying the possibility of organized assault 
upon their vested rights, he forecast (not in form, but 
in outline) the trouble that would come, and he ex- 
pressed himself conservatively in regard to his fears. 
So convinced was he of the evil to come that he would 
have disposed of his slaves and lands and removed to 
St Louis, which he believed would be a great city, 
but he was deterred by several considerations from 
taking this step. Had he sold out all his property in 
Alabama and reinvested there, as he was strongly 
inclined to do, he would have become one of the 
wealthiest and most influential citizens of Missouri as 
certainly as effect follows cause. But his family were 
loath to have him abandon the locality which had be- 
come endeared to them by many associations; he, too, 
was strongly attached to the people and the neigh- 
borhood, and it was difficult to sever the professional 
ties which bound him to the place. He would gladly 
have withdrawn from the practice of medicine, so 
great a tax was it upon his vitality, but it was fated 
that he should die in the harness. It was said of him 
that he worked himself to death. Upon whatever he 
was engaged, his profession or in other affairs, he 
concentrated his streno-th and worked with all his 

His views were broad and generous, and he strove 
to improve and enlarge whatever he took part in. It 
seemed to him contrary to economic principles that 
cotton should be transported thousands of miles^ to 


the north or to Europe, to be manufactured; there 
was every argument in favor of manufacturing the 
raw material in the locaUty in which it was produced, 
and no reason against this pohcy. Nor did he 
beheve, as others did, that it was impracticable to 
utilize the labor of negroes in the manufacture of cot- 
ton fabrics; but it was impossible to put this policy to 
practical test by individual effort, and general concert 
of action could not be had. In the application of 
this idea to national industry, he favored a thoroughly 
American system or plan, the substance of which is, 
that the United States should be self-supplying, self- 
sustaining, and industrially independent, especially as 
regards manufacturing. To the extent practicable, he 
carried his views into effect on his own plantation. 
He raised his own mules, horses, and cattle; tanned 
his own leather, and converted it into boots and 
shoes. So, also, out of the cotton and wool that he 
raised, he had all the coarser cloths made that were 
worn on the plantation. While other plantations 
paid nothing or ran into debt, his yielded a profit. 
Though his ideas were in advance of the times, and not 
always in accord with those of his neighbors